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Balenciaga, an ode to the haute couture artist and passionate about the color black – El Sol de México

HAGUE. Christopher Balenciaga he gave his life to his workshop and delicately imposed himself on the black cotton fabrics he used to design his art pieces. History has him as “the master” of haute couture and, 50 years after his death, the Kunstmuseum in The Hague confirms the legend with an exhibition of his black cloth sculptures.

The Spanish designer was known in Netherlands and “people admired him,” he says. Madelief Hohecurator of the exhibition, since, “although not every Dutch woman had a Balenciagahe did have a coat shaped like a Balenciaga and he had a presence in the local magazines because he was a powerful designer who defined what the new fashion would be.”

“Because he was an avant-garde who did not focus only on the waist, chest or hips, that was something that dutch women they appreciated,” adds Hohé. His influence on Dutch dressmakers can be seen in the forms of coats or suits made at the time, because more than garments, his designs were authentic sculptures.

They are simple designs, while impressive. He wanted to dress beautifully, but without fear of experimenting with new materials, it was something that interested him, and no matter what he did, “he always made women look prettier,” he says. He worked with the best houses in France and Spain to get every piece he imagined, including the buttons.

There are designers who are more interested in the general result of the piece, with a well-chosen color and design, but what made Balenciaga special was their great interest in all the real work that went into the making of each garment in the ‘atelier’, which is due to his training as a tailor from the age of 12.

Coco Chanel he was able to appreciate that experience and saw that Balenciaga was “the only designer in the true sense of the word; the rest are just fashion designers,” the French designer once said.

Own Christian Dior He described Balenciaga’s role with a historical phrase: “Haute couture is like an orchestra, in which Balenciaga is the conductor, and the rest of us are just musicians, following the instructions he gives us.” He was known as a strict designer who viewed his work as a religion, and as such he was a true devout by profession.

His complex sculptural designs worked best in black, which is why Balenciaga (1895-1972) did not use white cotton but black, a color that focused his attention from the beginning of the design process: there was no variety of colors to distract from the sculpture, with its lace, its embroidery and its shiny sequins, or with its velvet and silk pieces.

That is why the Kunstmuseum pays him an ode this autumn with more than 100 masterpieces from the collections of Palais Galliera and Maison Balenciaga in Paris, among which there are more than 60 garments, in which the dressmaker has played with black. Also on display are hats and jewelry, drawings, film footage and archive photographs.

Despite moving to Paris in 1936, all of this designer’s annotations were still in Spanish, and although he became an international haute couture master, his work remained faithful to his native country, including his recurring use of mantillas, lace and ruffles.

Today he is remembered as mysterious and lonely man, but his designs say much more about his personality. “You can feel his attention and his love for the material, and how he pushed the boundaries, because you don’t do this if you’re not really in love with your work. I love people like that because he has added to fashion”, says Hohé.

The women he dressed were also brave, perhaps rebellious, from the point of view of fashionbecause they “were not afraid to stand out, to be the first to wear something knowing that they would not be looked at in a traditional way, so yeah, that was maybe quite daring”.

The exhibition will open to the public on September 24, until March 5 next year. The Kunstmuseum, located in The Hague, has the largest collection of fashion in all Netherlandswith pieces ranging from the early 17th century to today’s garments.

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