Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Images from the past. Cristobal Balenciaga 1895 / 1972 Spain/France

"He is Fashion's Picasso"
Cecil Beaton

The young Cristobal Balenciaga photographed in Paris in 1937.

Balenciaga in his fashion house, 10 Avenue George V, Paris

Balenciaga at work

In the 1950's Christian Dior launched the New Look with a never seen impact on the women's new way of dressing.  Jacques Fath transformed women into diva's and  Cristobal Balenciaga was the undisputed architect of this new era, an exceptional talented designer who's story is like a legend.
Born in 1895 in Guetaria, a small fishing village on the Spanish Basque coast,   the very young Balenciage  was attracted to couture and it was apparent that his destiny was into creation. At the age of 13, he astounded the Marquise of Casa Torres with his comments on her elegance. The Marquise understood his interest in couture and his aesthetic sensibilities, she ordered to make a copy of the haute couture clothing she was wearing. The result was astonishing and the Marquise of casa Torres awarded the young Cristobal by wearing his version of the haute couture dress during society events.
A year later he travelled to Paris and  discovered the collections of great designers like Doucet, Worth, Drecoll and many other. Back in Spain, at the age of 16, he opens his first couture workshop adapting the Parisian fashion for the Spanish women.

Charles Frederick Worth inspired Balenciaga.

It is in 1915 that Balenciaga opens his first fashion house in San Sebastian under the name "Balenciaga" and followed by a second showroom in Madrid in 1920. Cristobal Balenciaga left Spain when the Civil War broke out and established himself in Paris.
It is in August 1937 that  Balenciaga's  will make a turning point in its career. He opened his first showrooms at 10 Avenue George V and from this ultimate moment a typical style was created which in thirty glorious years.transformed Balenciaga in an aesthetic and unique design statement and he changed women's silhouettes.

  Cristobal Balenciaga  was drawing with Chinese ink and using painters watercolors

After having a considerable influence on Hubert de Givenchy, Manuel Ungaro, Jean-Louis Scherrer or Andre Courreges, Balenciaga passed away on March 24 1972 in his home in Valencia, Spain.
Balenciaga was considered as the master of the masters by the great fashion designers.

" A couturier must be an architect for design,
a sculptor for the shape,
a painter for the color,
a musician for harmony,
a philosopher for temperance'

Cristobal Balenciaga

Baroness Pauline de Rotchild was a loyal Balenciaga devotee.
" His name became synonymous with perfection and elegance"
Baroness de Rotchild 1973.

C. Balenciaga "short" dress in Figaro Magazine 1950

Cristobal Balenciaga  " Veste Pincee" in 1950

A white organdi dress from C.F. Worth.
C.F.Worth was one of the designers that had a significant influence on Balenciaga's later work.
Photo: Henri Clark for Le Figaro Magazine 1950.

 Vogue magazine October 15 1953.
photography: John Rawlings.

Bolero Jacket from 1946.
Hamish Bowles collection

detail of bolero jacket.
Burgundy silk, velvet, jet and passementerie embrodery by Bataille.
Hamish Bowles collection.

Cecil Beaton.
"In his work Balenciaga shows the refinement of France and the strength of Spain.
He uses fabric like a sculptor working in marble."

1967                             2010

1 comment:

  1. hello,
    I want to ask permission to use the picture of Balenciaga in his fashion house. Can you tell me if it is copyrighted or public use? Or do you know who it belongs to?