THE 'BALENCIAGA: SHAPING FASHION' EXHIBITION
WHEN IN LONDON
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has opened its doors to “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion”, a major show dedicated to the Spanish designer, a man of great talent who shaped modern fashion. Running through Feb. 18, the retrospective takes an intimate look at Balenciaga’s work, offering insight on his signature shapes, intricate process of constructing and his relationship with his clients.
A perfectionist who shied from the limelight, Balenciaga hardly released interviews hence the lack of documentation on his thoughts, vision and work. Reflecting his nature, the exhibition is staged in a small and intimate space inside the museum. Marking a century since Balenciaga opened his first boutique in his native Spain, the show features over 100 important pieces by the designer, his protégés and modern designers, inspired by his legacy and artistry. They include Phoebe Philo, J.W. Anderson, Rick Owens and Calvin Klein.
Some of the highlights include Balenciaga’s fascination with the sleeve, especially the now-popular lantern shape, and drapes. For example, one dress dated 1967 is fashioned from a single fabric joined at the center in the back, with no side seams. X-ray artist Nick Veasey produced scans of the garments to show their inner constructions and lightness.