The Legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga 

by Wednesday, July 12, 2017

An Untold Theory Of The Relation With Picasso.

– London, Victoria & Albert Museum , “Balenciaga Shaping Fashion” exhibition. –

Walking through the exhibition,, admiring all the different windows about the work of the “Master of Shapes”, I begin to wonder that Cristóbal Balenciaga handed down to us a surprisingly big legacy.

He was the very first couturier of all times: he mastered with designing, cutting, tailoring and dressmaking.

His origins set us back to the Northern Spain of the XIX century but unlikely to what some of us could think, his work career is more linked to the present than we might think.

It was in fact at the beginning of the new era, the XX century, that he started working in fashion, just in time to assist to the development of the Expressionism.

His whole career could be in fact defined as a continuos evolution in shapes and textiles. An evolution that he pursued at a time where everything was still very prim and proper and pretty and his style appeared too futuristic.

And it was along those corridors that I figured out how we could easily compare his work to that of a famous painter: Picasso.

Picasso’s art is divided into five distinct painting phases. Balenciaga’s career can be as well divided into phases: through all his 50 years of career he developed his tecniques passing from a style onto an other as I would define a sort of experimental process.

He switched from Minimalism to Perfectionsim, mastering with Shape and Volume and Innovative Pattern Cutting to making further experimentation with the New Materials. Through all this phases you can clearly see the connection between them: the hunger of discovering all the possible ways to gently envelope the silhouette of a woman into a fabric in the most fabulous way.

Surely, Balenciaga left us the most precious legacy of all times: a tridimensional manual of succcessful experiments that seen in the right way can be the key to unlock amazing new ideas and inspirations.
 [The “Balenciaga Shaping Fashion” exhibition will be open until September 18th at the V&A museum in London ]

Photo sources: various internet websites.
Thank you for reading.


Chiara C.


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