Cristobal Balenciaga: a refined fashion designer

Image source: Visita

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In 1968 the Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga retired, after making an era in the world of fashion, and creating the contemporary style.
The Balenciaga brand is synonymous with elegance and refinement, but the story that makes more fascinating his dresses and accessories began in 1895 in a Spanish village.
In the art world were the years of post-Impressionism.

The young Cristobal learnt from his mother, who was a seamstress, how to create a dress to make beautiful any woman, by starting creating dresses which wrapped the body like elegant and soft geometry.

Cristobal Balenciaga. Image source:

Cristobal Balenciaga. Image source:

Balenciaga was a reserved man and a perfectionist, and he raged against his tailors due to slight flaws in dresses, and obliged them to start over again.
His workshop created custom-made dresses for a very refined clientele, refusing the diffusion of the ready-to-wear fashion in the 1960s, and also for this reason Balenciaga would decided to retire.
To him fashion was art, and the fashion designer was exactly like an artist.
He made an entire collection inspired by the clothes that Diego Velasquez had painted the portraits of the Princess of Spain (many are preserved in the Museo del Prado).

Very jealous of his creations, Cristobal Balenciaga obliged his workers to empty their pockets every evening, because he feared that they could steal his sketches, because he drew images and created forms always new.
Balenciaga’s most famous inventions are three:

  • the “envelope dress” with the 4 angles pinned on the neckline;
  • the “chou” dress with the huge ruche wrapped around the face;
  • the wedding dress with a coal-scuttle headdress.

Balenciaga didn’t love journalists, and he preferred to invite buyers and clients to his runaway shows.
However, the famous fashion journalist Diana Vreeland said:

When a woman wearing a Balenciaga entered a room, no other woman existed.

READ ALSO: Iris Apfel: a portrait.

Chou, Balenciaga. Image source:

Chou, Balenciaga. Image source:

The envelope dress Balenciaga. Image source: The

The envelope dress Balenciaga. Image source: The

wedding dress Balenciaga. Image source:

wedding dress Balenciaga. Image source:



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