Balenciaga : Black Work

Balenciaga. Robe. Dentelle noire, ruban de satin rose pâle. © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

Balenciaga. Robe. Dentelle noire, ruban de satin rose pâle. © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

The Spanish Season

Bourdelle Museum

From March 8th to July 16th 2017

In honour of Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), “the designer’s designer”, Palais Galliera presents Black Work, evoking the dark tones used by this fashion alchemist.

Black: his body of work rooted in the folklore and traditions of his native Spain. Black: the minimalist style favoured by this designer with unparalleled technical skills. Black: the monastic inspiration of this fashion master, of whom Dior said, “Clothing was his religion”. For Balenciaga, black was a vibrant material, alternatively opaque and transparent, matt or shiny, revealing a play of light owing as much to the sumptuousness of the fabric as the apparent simplicity of his cuts. A touch of lace, embroidery, guipure, a thick draping of silk velvet that becomes a skirt, a bolero, a mantilla, a cape reinvented as a coat, a coat cut as a cape, and so on. The exhibit features day wear, cocktail dresses, and evening wear lined with silk taffeta, trimmed with gold fringes, and adorned with satin ribbons, jet beads, sequins, etc. Endless combinations of black in a hundred items from the Galliera collection and the Balenciaga archives. The Bourdelle Museum serves as the backdrop for this exhibition of Balenciaga’s dresses, with shapes that evoke the work of a sculptor.

CURATOR : Véronique Belloir, chargée du Département Haute Couture au Palais Galliera 
ARTISTIC DIRECTION / SCENOGRAPHY : Olivier Saillard, directeur du Palais Galliera, assisted by Béatrice Abonyi


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