Designers Honor Balenciaga with Fashion Exhibit

THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 31, 1985 | Go to article overview

Designers Honor Balenciaga with Fashion Exhibit


LYON, France (AP) - Paris fashion designers and Lyon silk manufacturers have joined forces to pay homage to the late Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga with the opening of the retrospective Balenciaga exhibition, held in a 17th century mansion of Lyon's Gallo-Roman archeological museum.

The show lasts until January 6, 1986. It will move on to Barcelona's textile museum, and may appear at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology in the late spring.

When Balenciaga died in 1972, he was considered a top Paris fashion influence, and many awed fashion followers simply knew him as ""the master.''

He once inspired feisty Coco Chanel to declare: ""He alone is a couturier. Only he is capable of cutting, draping and sewing by hand. The others are merely designers.''

Born in northern Spain in 1895, Balenciaga trained and owned shops in Spain before moving to Paris in 1937 to escape the Spanish Civil War.

His first shop on Avenue George V was a wild success, and still sells luxury articles today.

Called ""the monk'' by Women's Wear Daily, he was secretive, demanding, and a perfectionist. Women's Wear reporters often hung about outside his shop, spying on models trying on clothes to scoop pre-collection fashion details.

His early inspiration was Spanish with overtones of Velasquez paintings and elaborate matador boleros or hats. Antique Spanish religious sculptures inspired him to create his famous turnover collar.

Elegant Balenciaga clothes in the show range from wasp-waisted satin ball gowns to an incredible A-line cream silk bridal gown. …

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