Cristóbal Balenciaga. Fashion and Heritage

Upcoming exhibition 

The Museum will be closed from January 29 to March 24 for a change of exhibitions. We apologise for the inconvenience. 

This year, 2018 – European Year of Heritage – marks the 50th anniversary since the Master of Haute Couture retired in 1968. An opportunity to reflect on the heritage value of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work from the moment of closing his salons and stopping activity at his workshops in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastián.

This is the starting point of the exhibition Cristóbal Balenciaga, fashion and heritage, the moment that Balenciaga’s creations left the streets and salons to inhabit the archives, galleries and museums. No longer lending beauty to bodies to become admired as beautiful in themselves. Leaving the covers of the fashion magazines for those dedicated to art and losing their exclusive patina to become accessible to all publics in all social circles.

In this dialogue of Fashion and Heritage we want to follow both roads, precisely taking 1968 as the year of their confluence. One runs from that date until today, revealing to the public the path of patrimonial consolidation intimately linked to our reason to be as a museum, and the other, starting in 1917 – opening date of his first atelier in San Sebastián – until the moment his maisons closed their doors, in order to understand Balenciaga’s creative progression, evolution and revolution since those early days.

A conversation undertaken by the Museum with Judith Clark, eminent curator and director of the Centre for Fashion Curation at the University of the Arts London. The exhibition discourse and the selection of pieces that accompany it, added to the spatial conceptualisation and its design are the result of the collaboration between the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum team and the British curator.

The exhibition will occupy 900m2 of museum space from March 23, 2018, until January 27, 2019, and will include 80 items of clothing and other resources including documents, images, objects, patterns and fabrics. Technology too will be present, enabling interactive exchange thanks to digitisations allowing us to observe the detail of a piece, view it in 360 degrees, study infographics on its technical construction, or an App offering a variety of themed tours

The exhibition is based on the museum collections, with the indispensable support of Archives Balenciaga, Paris (Balenciaga sa, kering group).