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Excitement Building for 'Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion' Exhibition!

Posted on April 27 2017

Architect in Planning,
Sculptor in Form,
Painter in Colour,
Musician in Harmony,
Philosopher in Entirety.

Cristobal Balenciaga.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) Cristobal  Balenciaga at Work, Paris 1968.
 © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos

I’ve been a supporter of the Victoria and Albert Museum for many years. They are a wonderful museum and a phenomenal resource, often giving me access to their archives during my years studying at London School of Fashion. The exhibitions there are guaranteed to be astounding, with the Galliano being a particular past favourite (although my staff beg to differ with me on that one, as they preferred the McQueen show).
Thus I’m beside myself with excitement about the upcoming Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition at The Victoria and Albert Museum. With appellations such as the ‘King of Fashion’ and the ‘Inventor of Couture’, to his work and ability to inspire, Cristobel Balenciaga is pure legend.

Richard Avendon (1904-2004) Elsie Daniels with street performers suit by Balenciaga, Cafe des Deux Magots, Paris 1955.
© The Richard Avendon Foundation

The mire of copyright legalities regarding images can be a horror to negotiate and I’ve generally avoided it by getting creative and taking my own photographs. In this particular instance however I would have felt very restricted if I couldn't use specific and related pictures.
With this in mind I contacted the V&A and asked if I could write a blog about the exhibition and was totally overjoyed when they said I could reference them in my blog AND use some of their images.  I’ve decided that I have to do a series of features on this wonderful man, as one blog simply won’t cover it!
I’ll be looking  at Cristobal Balenciaga and his Spanish heritage, then move onto his Parisian days…and of course write up the exhibition.

Richard Avendon (1923-2004) Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Cafe des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955.© The Richard Avendon Foundation. 

It will be fascinating to weave the relevant inspirations together, especially as the designers in my shop have both direct and indirect links with Balenciaga’s heritage. Things to look forward to now I'm back from my much needed break in Bali!

Irving Penn (1917-2009) Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing coat by Cristobal Balenciaga, 1950.
© Conde Nast/Irving Penn Foundation  

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, sponsored by American Express, at the V&A from 27 May 2017 – 18 February 2018.


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