Fashion is shaped by him! The legendary name in fashion history, "Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion" exhibition

Elise Daniels with street performers, suit by Balenciaga, Le Marais, Paris, 1948. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Looking back at fashion history, there is such a master who once dismissed the contemporary male designer Coco Chanel to say "he is a truly outstanding womenswear designer"; the more famous Christian Dior Praise, "If you think of Haute Couture as a symphony, then the conductor is none other than our other designers are the musicians who listen to him." Mr. Dior is the founder of the same name, Cristóbal Balenciaga. . Starting in Spain, he opened his first fashion store in San Sebastián in 1919. In less than 20 years after its founding, he conquered all the Spanish dignitaries, and then moved to Paris and became one of the most famous brands in fashion history.

Mr. Dior's highest compliment to Balenciaga. Photography/ Athena Chen.

Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing coat by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1950. Photograph by Irving Penn © Condé Nast, Irving Penn Foundation. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper's Bazaar, June 1967 © Hiro 1967. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Café des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Mr. Dior's highest compliment to Balenciaga. Photography/ Athena Chen.
Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing coat by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1950. Photograph by Irving Penn © Condé Nast, Irving Penn Foundation. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper's Bazaar, June 1967 © Hiro 1967. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Café des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Today, 45 years after the death of Balenciaga founder Cristóbal Balenciaga, the V&A Museum in London coincides with a spectacular retrospective of Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. Since Cristóbal Balenciaga was rarely interviewed during his lifetime, exhibition curator Cassie Davies-Strodder made a note: "Because the Spanish designer's ignorance left the posterity with a series of unproven secrets, the rest is clothes." In addition to Balenciaga's most iconic clothing, it also displays a number of hand-painted design manuscripts, model photo records, various fabrics and fabrics, and fashion show clips, leading people to a look at the various projects that the fashion brand needs to operate.

Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Photography/ Athena Chen.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Photography/ Athena Chen.

From garment tailors to later innovations in tailoring and updating apparel fabrics, Cristobal Balenciaga is a design rule that breaks the boundaries of women's clothing. In the 1950s and 1960s, when most designers were still following New Look, Balenciaga had already launched an understanding of the design and boldly tried to match. At the first glance of the Progress Hall, you can see a green bag dress. This design that liberates women's curves, elegance and futuristic is the best embodiment of Balenciaga's bold innovation. In addition, he is a pioneer of minimalism, and in 1967 he made a wedding dress with only three stitches.

Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1968. Photograph Henri Cartier-Bresson © Henri Cartier-Bresson, Magnum Photos. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Model wearing Balenciaga orange coat as I. Magnin buyers inspect a dinner outfit in the background, Paris, France, 1954 © Mark Shaw, mptvimages.com. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Behind the Scenes for Balenciaga Shaping Fashion exhibition in the Conservation Studios © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
'Baby doll' cocktail dress, crêpe de chine, lace and satin, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1958 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Evening dress, wild silk with embroidery by Lesage, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1960-1962 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Bolero jacket, EISA, Spain, 1947 © Museo Cristóbal Balenciaga. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1968. Photograph Henri Cartier-Bresson © Henri Cartier-Bresson, Magnum Photos. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
In 1967 Balenciaga designed a wedding dress with only three stitches, which was the pioneer of minimalism at the time. Photography/ Athena Chen.
Model wearing Balenciaga orange coat as I. Magnin buyers inspect a dinner outfit in the background, Paris, France, 1954 © Mark Shaw, mptvimages.com. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Model wearing Balenciaga orange coat as I. Magnin buyers inspect a dinner outfit in the background, Paris, France, 1954 © Mark Shaw, mptvimages.com. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Behind the Scenes for Balenciaga Shaping Fashion exhibition in the Conservation Studios © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Evening dress, wild silk with embroidery by Lesage, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1960-1962 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Behind the Scenes for Balenciaga Shaping Fashion exhibition in the Conservation Studios © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Evening dress, wild silk with embroidery by Lesage, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1960-1962 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
'Baby doll' cocktail dress, crêpe de chine, lace and satin, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1958 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Bolero jacket, EISA, Spain, 1947 © Museo Cristóbal Balenciaga. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

In 1967 Balenciaga designed a wedding dress with only three stitches, which was the pioneer of minimalism at the time. Photography/ Athena Chen.

In addition to exhibiting the contours and appearance of the garments, the exhibition also invites renowned British X-ray artist Nick Veasey (review Interview with Nick Veasey), giving us the opportunity to see through the intricate and complex design of the interior of the garment. There are also a number of 3D modeling deconstructed clothing version of the animated film, which is amazed by Balenciaga's exquisite three-dimensional tailoring and excellent forward-looking. These single-line stitched coats, lantern skirts and three-dimensional silhouette cloaks are architecturally beautiful, making Cristobal Balenciaga the most classic masterpiece, even in this era of review, it is still very avant-garde.

Silk taffeta evening dress, Balenciaga, 1954. Museum no. T.427-1967. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Silk taffeta evening dress, Balenciaga, 1954. X-ray by Nick Veasey, 2016. © Nick Veasey. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Evening dress, Balenciaga, 1965. Museum no. T.435-1985. X-ray by Nick Veasey, 2016. © Nick Veasey. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Evening dress, Balenciaga, 1965. Museum no. T.435-1985. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Silk taffeta evening dress, Balenciaga, 1954. Museum no. T.427-1967. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Silk taffeta evening dress, Balenciaga, 1954. X-ray by Nick Veasey, 2016. © Nick Veasey. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Evening dress, Balenciaga, 1965. Museum no. T.435-1985. X-ray by Nick Veasey, 2016. © Nick Veasey. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Evening dress, Balenciaga, 1965. Museum no. T.435-1985. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Most of the clothing on display at the exhibition came from the 1950s to the 60s – the heyday of the Cristóbal Balenciaga predecessor brand. In addition to the collections of the V&A Museum, more from the then ladies of Balenciaga. Like the golden age of Hollywood's classic actress Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, British legendary lady Gloria Guinness, the German aristocratic family Bismarck's countess (the Countess of Bismarck has a reminiscent episode, she was in 1963 In one trial, 88 sets of clothes were ordered in one go; the curator Davies-Strodder and the team traveled from France, Spain to Switzerland and other places around the world, collecting precious Balenciaga clothing collections. It is worth mentioning that there are 7 collections from the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, USA; the original grandson of the car inventor Ford, a daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Parke Firestone, who loves high-end uniforms, has a large number of Balenciaga designs clothing.

Balenciaga is designed for ladies and gentlemen to suit a variety of styles. Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga is designed for ladies and gentlemen to suit a variety of styles. Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

In the other exhibition hall on the second floor of V&A, you can see many of the younger designers of Cristóbal Balenciaga, including Celine creative directors Phoebe Philo, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Kawakubo, who are now in the history of fashion. A very representative fashion name. "Many designers now come to our collections to find inspiration, and the most frequently visited by these new generation designers is Balenciaga's collection," said curator Davies-Strodder. "It seems that even now, Balenciaga Mr.'s influence on the fashion world is still very far-reaching. I think he is a 'designer's designer', and like McQueen later, it has opened up new horizons for new designers of future generations, and The spirit of bold innovation has a profound impact on the fashion world."

Balenciaga is the "inspired designer", designed from Hussein Chalayan in the three-dimensional round shape on the left, and the right-wing ruffled coat is Ikugawa Kubo. Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga is the "inspired designer", designed from Hussein Chalayan in the three-dimensional round shape on the left, and the right-wing ruffled coat is Ikugawa Kubo. Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.
Balenciaga Shaping Fashion Exhibition installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Go to Balenciaga's 2017 Fall/Winter women's collection this year and see some of the designs of the brand's current creative director, Demna Gvasalia, as an exhibit. As early as March 2017 at the women's autumn and winter women's conference, he used nine costumes inspired by the Balenciaga Archive to pay tribute to the legendary founder. Perhaps, as the late famous fashion editor Diana Vreeland's summary is the most appropriate: "Balenciaga brings fashion to the world." From now on February 18, 2018, you are expected to visit London, don't miss it. The V&A Museum witnessed the legendary work of this fashion master.

"Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
Victoria & Albert Museum/ Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
T: +44 (0) 20-7942-2000
Exhibition until February 18, 2018

Images Courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum.
Part of Photos by Athena Chen.

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