Balenciaga and Spain part 2

July 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

For those of you who read my blog still, some of you may remember that I posted a blog about an exhibit taking place at the De Young museum in San Francisco about Balenciaga and how Spain and its history inspired his work. Well, I was lucky enough to actually attend this exhibit and it was as amazing as I thought it would be, if not more.

Now, I am going to ignore the fact that the exhibit was full of old women who just had to give their two cents about every single piece and discuss whether they thought one of the pieces was ugly or pretty or if they would wear that dress or not. Let me just say thought that I understand that people are free to state their opinions about the pieces and yada yada yada, I just don’t want to hear those opinions. I also feel that when viewing an exhibit like this, its more about looking at the pieces of clothing as art as oppose to looking at the pieces like they are on display at Neiman Marcus. That is as far as I will go with this rant at this time.

Although I love Balenciaga and own a few pieces by Balenciaga, I never really knew much about Balenciaga until this exhibit. I now have much more respect for Balenciaga as a designer after viewing this exhibit. It was remarkably obvious how he took inspiration from everything that is Spain. Be it the bull fights, the art, the religion, the royalty, or the natives, Balenciaga covered it in a way that is indescribable. The pairing of colors and fabric types was insane and the structure of the pieces was jaw dropping. It really got me thinking about the designers of today compared to some of the great designers of the past, and even the amazing designs by Alexander McQueen. I realized that, besides Alexander McQueen of course, the designers today do not have the skills of a designer like Balenciaga or Dior or Yves Saint Laurent, who got their start by working under tailors and suit makers. In those days that is how you got your start as a designer and you can tell the difference between someone who has those skills and someone who went to school for it and the difference is in the structure of the pieces. Now even though Alexander McQueen was/ is a modern designer, he has the skills and training of a Balenciaga or a Yves Saint Laurent. Its sad to see that that type of structure in clothing is a rarity now a days. You could also see how so many designers have been influenced by Balenciagas designs through out the years be it through the colors or the cuts of the pieces. Each piece there could be worn today and look as amazing as it did in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

Below are pictures of pieces that I loved that were at the exhibit. Since I was not able to take pictures in the exhibit, these are coming from the book I bought in the gift shop.


This is a drawing by Balenciaga

Balenciaga was inspired by the Spanish Flamanco dancers and designed a lot of costumes for them. This is one of them.

One of my favorite abstract pieces by Balenciaga.


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