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V&A Looks Forward to Balenciaga Exhibit in 2017

It was 1937 when the designer opened his first couture house in Paris, according to the editors that curated the Balenciaga collection on Lyst, showcasing the fashion house's latest contemporary works. However, the upcoming exhibition is placing its focus on his career between the 1950's and 1960's. Organised by the museum's fashion and textiles curator, Cassie Davies-Strodder it is spotlighting this significant time with 100 garments and 20 hats, all of which were produced by the couturier himself and his apprentices.

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Last month, the Victoria & Albert Museum announced their 2017 calendar, which included a number of highly anticipated shows. Running until February 26 of next year is the current exhibition of the late 1960’s and its historical impact as seen through music, named, “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970.”

You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970.
You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970.

A Pink Floyd retrospective will also be staged from May 13 to October 1. Shortly following the opening of “The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains” will be the debut of “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion,” the first museum exhibit solely about Cristóbal Balenciaga rather than the design house as a whole.

Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon.
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon.

It was 1937 when the designer opened his first couture house in Paris, according to the editors that curated the Balenciaga collection on Lyst, showcasing the fashion house’s latest contemporary works. However, the upcoming exhibition is placing its focus on his career between the 1950’s and 1960’s. Organised by the museum’s fashion and textiles curator, Cassie Davies-Strodder it is spotlighting this significant time with 100 garments and 20 hats, all of which were produced by the couturier himself and his apprentices.

T.39-1974; T.39A-1974 Evening gown and cape Gazar, sleeveless dress with scoop neck . Short in the front and dipping to a slight train at the back - this line is echoed by the cape which front fastens with two large self covered buttons Balenciaga, Paris, 1967
Evening ensemble (reverse), designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1967.

Accompanying the fashion items are sketches, fabric samples, photographs and film to further detail Balenciaga’s process from imagination to execution. What is also set to be included in this one-of-a-kind exhibit are several creations that are in storage and have yet to be publically displayed, so visitors and luxury fashion followers will have a few surprises in store for them.

seen-london-va-balenciaga4
Evening dress of poult, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1960.

Davies-Strodder explains to Allure that the show will be divided into three sections: The Salon, The Workroom and finally, Cristóbal Balenciaga’s Legacy. Truly an icon of his time, it was a rare occurrence for a luxury designer to master every skill in fashion innovation. He was regarded amongst the greats as “the master of us all,” as Christian Dior put it, while Coco Chanel named Balenciaga the “only” couturier. Although specifics on which items will be showcased at the V&A, the curation will be an accurate depiction of the designer’s powerful influence in the industry and impact on a global scale.

T.27-1974 Evening dress Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972) Paris 1962 Embroidered silk
Embroidered wild silk evening dress, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1962.

With Balenciaga opening the doors to his very first fashion house back in 1917 at the tender age of 22, the show marks a very important anniversary for the brand. It will also be the 80th anniversary of his Paris boutique, making 2017 yet another very important year for Balenciaga.

seen-london-va-balenciaga10
Evening dress of embroidered satin, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955.

“Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion” will premiere on May 27, 2017 and run until February 18, 2018.

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Rd
London SW7 2RL

Credits

  • Text Chloe Davies
  • Photo cover: Clifford Coffin, May 1948
  • Photography courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum

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