Now that last week of haute couture without much new , except the notable additions of Valli and Alai, which have brought some new blood, it is a pleasure to look back to the golden age of haute couture, when haute couture was the only way to dress for the ladies wealthy when sewers were true masters like Cristobal Balenciaga, the most comprehensive fashion designer. As he once said:
A good designer should be the design architect, sculptor for shape, color painter, musician for harmony and a philosopher for the measure. "
And strolling through the newly opened Museum Guetaria Balenciaga, you can definitely see that he fulfilled all the requirements. Today I invite you to visit this beautiful museum or yes you must visit at least once in life.
The tour begins with his first designs, beginning with those made in his native Guetaria and continuing with that developed in San Sebastian, where the Spanish bourgeoisie and vacationing in Europe and where it was easy to soak in the fashion of the time. The son of a seamstress, Balenciaga fashion began from below. From his early designs wedding dresses include unconventional prints or dark colors. With the Spanish Civil War he moved to Paris couturier.
From there, the exhibition is structured as women in the social life divided his time: day, cocktail, evening and bridal. On each occasion had to look well dressed. By day, Cristobal Balenciaga create functional clothing, comfortable, flowing lines and an impeccable cut that allow women to move. Warm fabrics such as wool, versatile garments such as coats or layers that are reversible can look over the shoulder or as cubrefaldas.
The time to let your imagination comes to cocktail dresses and evening, where allowed Balenciaga daring, bold silhouettes, exquisite embellishments and luxurious fabrics such as silk crepe, shantung, lace, velvet or the gazar (created for him by Abraham).
The teacher plays with volumes as anyone, mainly with curved lines. He managed to change the silhouette of the woman, creating the line barrel (curved back), balloon skirts, tunic dresses, sack dresses and baby doll dress, created in 1958 and revised again and again throughout the world fashion.
Thanks to his perfectionism, attention to detail as possible, working sleeves, back and neck until you find the perfect solution for every finish. He moved to the back neckline to highlight and neck, becoming graceful any figure. Sleeves cut so they could wear jewels and gloves.
The back of his designs often hidden surprises such as ties, or original closures, shifting the point of routine care of clothing. To him we owe creations like the peacock dress, shorter in front than behind.
In addition to the fluidity and grace of form, experimenting with bright colors and little used to date such as fuchsia, as well as new tissues.
His designs collected much of the Spanish tradition: Goya, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Zuloaga, boleros, lace, pasamantería ...
In the section devoted to wedding dresses, you can see how effective it is simplicity. The real hero had to be the bride, not the dress.
In the last room of the museum is where you can better assess your expertise. You can see how they build their original patterns to create the final design. Waisted dresses and coats in front leaving the back loose, with folds that start from the neck creating the particular Balenciaga silhouette.
I imagine him in the studio, working hours, sewing and ripping to create something so simple and sublime at the same time as this:
He was shy and not given to big social events, so it did not reach the status of star designer as their peers, but they admired him deeply for his great talent. Coco Chanel said of him:
Sewing was authentic because, unlike his contemporaries, was able to design, cut, assemble and sew a dress from start to finish. "
While Christian Dior stated:
Haute couture is like an orchestra, whose director is Balenciaga. The other designers are musicians and follow the direction he gives us. "
This great genius, instead of creating designs with age becoming more convoluted and complicated, according to refine their designs and improve their technique, it was clear from all the superfluous, in the 60's reaching perfection in simplicity and purity forms.
In 1968 he closed his fashion house, feeling that the prêt-à-porter to haute couture shift. He worked closely with her clients so that each design is unique and special, something completely out of place in the new era was coming. That said, nostalgia for the haute couture. From when haute couture was not just for actresses in Hollywood, Texan millionaires, Sheikha European and Arab princesses, sno for elegant women with an intense social life.
For now, only you can visit the permanent collection. Although the area is not open for temporary exhibitions, but given the ample funds of the Foundation Cristobal Balenciaga (over a thousand items), insurance will be enjoying that little by little.