Cristóbal Balenciaga is one of the most revered names in haute couture. Known for his technical skills, the Spanish designer is famous for crafting a new silhouette for women (characterised by its broad shoulders and boxy shape) that came into fashion in the late 50s. His contribution to fashion was insumountable – and a new exhibition is set to celebrate that fact.
Opening at the V&A in London in May 2017, 100 years after the opening of Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian, Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will pay homage to the designer, his life and his legacy. Bringing together 100 garments and 20 hats, along with sketches, photographs and fabric samples, the show will explore his craftsmanship and skill, and how his work changed fashion forever.
According the V&A, the exhibition will also include pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, some of which have never been seen before.
The exhibition is timely – under the new creative director of Vetements head designer Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga has taken a radical new director. Fusing the house’s codes with his own fresh outlook on fashion, Gvasalia’s most recent outing saw the designer debut a collection based around Spandex (taking inspiration from cult fetish magazines like AtomAge) and repurpose brooches from the archives.
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be on show at the V&A, London May 27th 2017–February 18th 2018