Cristóbal Balenciaga. A timeless legacy

Cristóbal Balenciaga is regarded as one of the leading and most influential couturiers of the 20th century. This exhibition shows the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga and his contribution to history.

Cristóbal Balenciaga is unanimously regarded as one of the leading and most influential couturiers of the 20th century. A tireless perfectionist, he acquired an expert command of sewing techniques and spent his life refining the construction of his creations and introducing extraordinary innovations that allowed him to gradually evolve towards simpler, purer forms. His exceptional creative talent inspired him to design models that were audacious in both their form and aesthetics, taking the world by storm and setting the indisputable trend season after season. His command of the craft earned him the respect of his colleagues and he reigned supreme in the international haute couture world until he retired in 1968.

This exhibition aims to provide visitors with an insight in the principal characteristics of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work and demonstrate his crucial contribution to the history of fashion and design.

Comprising three chronologically arranged rooms, the show examines the career of the Getaria-born couturier, from his beginnings in San Sebastian to his reign in Paris. It concludes with an analysis of his extraordinary technical legacy, which to this day continues to influence the work of the leading contemporary creators.

Comprising three chronologically arranged rooms, a través de una cuidada selección de 62 piezas y una selección e películas, the show examines the career of the Getaria-born couturier, from his beginnings in San Sebastian to his reign in Paris. It concludes with an analysis of his extraordinary technical legacy, which to this day continues to influence the work of the leading contemporary creators.

The show has been organised in association with the Balenciaga house.Cristóbal Balenciaga.

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Cerrar

1935

Evening coat in black silk taffeta
EISA B.E

1935 Worn by Mrs Domínguez de Arbide

Long coat with a short train at the back. The coat is open at the front and has a turndown collar finished with two peaks at the back. Two large panels arranged diagonally make up all the fullness of the coat. The three-quarter length sleeve is made of rectangular panels with a seam to attenuate the angle. Padded lining from neck to bustline is added for greater volume.

CBM 2006.85

Cerrar

1960

Evening dress in lilac silk satin with floral-motif embroidery in lilac, yellow and black.
BALENCIAGA PARIS

 

1960 Worn by Mrs. Dodi Loridis

Cristóbal Balenciaga covered many of his most stunning creations with exquisitely embroidered motifs, the work of the finest craftsmen in Paris. Historic masters of embroidery such as Lesage, Mesrine and Rébé habitually supplied the Balenciaga house.

Cerrar

1964

Straight day coat in orange rayon twill, with a jewel neckline and turndown collar.
EISA MADRID

 

1964 worn by the widow of Mr. Molina

The focal points are the double row of buttons at the front and the precise cut below the chest. The vertical seams at the front conceal the pockets, a device frequently found in Balenciaga’s coats.  At the back, it has a strap with two buttons and a slit in the hem.

The sleeves, which were an obsession with the couturier, are tight-fitting and cut with rigorous precision, to guarantee total freedom of movement to the wearer.  Balenciaga commonly used these and kimono sleeves in his coat designs. In the case of the kimono sleeve, he would adapt it to the shape of the arm by inserting a triangular piece in the underarm area. 

CBM 1998.15c

Cerrar

1965

Cocktail ensemble in silk
BALENCIAGA PARIS

1965

Cocktail ensemble in white silk, with a black geometric print.

CBM 64.2003ab