The V&A in London has had several exhibitions on fashion and fashion designers recently and I was able to go to their latest show. This retrospective covers the career and work of the great Cristobal Balenciaga. The exhibition covers the spectrum of his design and how his work has influenced other designers. The show on the ground floor looks at his work and the upstairs part showcases the work of the other designers who have been inspired by him. It is important to note that Balenciaga is notable as one of the few couturiers in fashion who could use their own hands to design, cut, and sew! He was a truly talented man and this excellent show really shows off his unique ability.
Born in 1895, he trained as tailor and he set up his own fashion house in 1919 aged just 26. Although he was very successful, the Spanish Civil War led him to leave and set up his couture house in Paris in 1937. It was here that his true vision and inventiveness in the post-second war 1950s become evident. He transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist. His period of the 1950s and 1960 are masterpieces of fashion, truly inventive for their time and modern even today.
This is a wonderful exhibition that brings the importance of his work and influences to a wider audience. Christian Dior called him “the master of us all”. Coco Chanel said of him that he was”the only couturier in the truest sense of the word” and “The others are simply fashion designers”. Nothing more can be added from me!
The show is on to the 18th February 2018 at the V&A.