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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Designs of the times-Balenciaga exhibit displays 70 one-of-a-kind pieces

Cristóbal Balenciaga
Balenciaga was one of the innovators of modern fashion.

Born in the remote Basque fishing village of Guetaria, Spain, Balenciaga was exposed to fashion by his mother, who was a seamstress for the Marquesa de Casa Torres.

He apprenticed with a tailor learning to make patterns and honing his craft. Later in 1919, Balenciaga opened his own company in San Sebastián, Spain.

Influenced by the designs of Coco Chanel and Madeline Vionnet, Balenciaga traveled to Paris to learn the complexities of haute couture.

He was forced to close his San Sebastián store in 1932 because of financial set backs, but opened the House of Balenciaga in Paris in 1937.

Balenciaga retired in 1968 and died in 1972. He influencedmany designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy.
Cristóbal Balenciaga Balenciaga was one of the innovators of modern fashion. Born in the remote Basque fishing village of Guetaria, Spain, Balenciaga was exposed to fashion by his mother, who was a seamstress for the Marquesa de Casa Torres. He apprenticed with a tailor learning to make patterns and honing his craft. Later in 1919, Balenciaga opened his own company in San Sebastián, Spain. Influenced by the designs of Coco Chanel and Madeline Vionnet, Balenciaga traveled to Paris to learn the complexities of haute couture. He was forced to close his San Sebastián store in 1932 because of financial set backs, but opened the House of Balenciaga in Paris in 1937. Balenciaga retired in 1968 and died in 1972. He influencedmany designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy.

By Ashley Cole /reporter

Cristóbal Balenciaga Balenciaga was one of the innovators of modern fashion. Born in the remote Basque fishing village of Guetaria, Spain, Balenciaga was exposed to fashion by his mother, who was a seamstress for the Marquesa de Casa Torres. He apprenticed with a tailor learning to make patterns and honing his craft. Later in 1919, Balenciaga opened his own company in San Sebastián, Spain. Influenced by the designs of Coco Chanel and Madeline Vionnet, Balenciaga traveled to Paris to learn the complexities of haute couture. He was forced to close his San Sebastián store in 1932 because of financial set backs, but opened the House of Balenciaga in Paris in 1937. Balenciaga retired in 1968 and died in 1972. He influencedmany designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy.
Cristóbal Balenciaga
Balenciaga was one of the innovators of modern fashion.
Born in the remote Basque fishing village of Guetaria, Spain, Balenciaga was exposed to fashion by his mother, who was a seamstress for the Marquesa de Casa Torres.
He apprenticed with a tailor learning to make patterns and honing his craft. Later in 1919, Balenciaga opened his own company in San Sebastián, Spain.
Influenced by the designs of Coco Chanel and Madeline Vionnet, Balenciaga traveled to Paris to learn the complexities of haute couture.
He was forced to close his San Sebastián store in 1932 because of financial set backs, but opened the House of Balenciaga in Paris in 1937.
Balenciaga retired in 1968 and died in 1972. He influencedmany designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy.

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University presents Balenciaga and His Legacy: Haute Couture from the Texas Fashion Collection, which chronicles the last two decades of couturier Cristobal Balenciaga.

DESIGNS
During the height of his career, Balenciaga designed one-of-a-kind pieces for celebrity clientele including Ingrid Bergman, Princess Grace of Monaco and Sophia Loren.

He was known for the silhouette of his clothing, which emphasized a woman’s body. His dresses moved with a woman and brought attention to the woman and not the dress.

Many designs were inspired from his Spanish background including bolero bullfighter jackets and tassels called madroños.

EXHIBIT
Balenciaga and His Legacy houses more than 70 original designs as well as 20 pieces from protégées Emanuel Ungaro, Hubert de Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta and Andrè Courreges. The pieces were donated by the Texas Fashion Collection, part of the School of Visual
Arts at the University of North Texas.

“ This will be an intimate look at a very private man. We have focused on the relationship between couturier and client and, by extension, the fashion industry mid-20th century, which is considered the Golden Age of haute couture,” Myra Walker, the guest curator and director of the Texas Fashion Collection, said in a press release.

This exhibit is the third solo exhibition of Balenciaga’s work in the United States: World of Balenciaga at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1973 and Balenciaga at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in 1986.

Dallas designer Winn Morton was commissioned by the Meadows Museum to create the setting of the exhibit.

DISPLAYS

1982
1982
1966
1966

Many of the designs in the exhibit were worn by two of Balenciaga’s most devoted clients: Claudia Heard de Osborne, a Texas oil heiress and socialite, and Bert de Winter, a Neiman Marcus fashion buyer who heavily influenced Dallas fashion.

Among the donated designs are an evening dress of white taffeta in a red carnation print, an evening gown of pale pink tulle and an evening dress of tiered black lace ruffles.

Also on display is the ice blue Oscar de la Renta evening gown Laura Bush wore to the 55th Presidential Inaugural Ball and a Givenchy-designed ensemble worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1963 movie Charade.

Throughout the exhibit are photographs by Richard Avedon and Louise Dahl-Wolfe that graced the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazzar as well as photographs of de Osborne and de Winter in Balenciaga designs.

The dresses are displayed on a wooden catwalk while a large portrait of Balenciaga greets visitors at the entrance.

“ The public is in for a dazzling exhibition that will further the appreciation and understanding of fashion and design,” Roglan said.

WHEN AND WHERE

Balenciaga and His Legacy runs until May 27. Admission to the Meadows Museum is $8 per visitor and free to museum members and children under 12. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday until 8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Free parking is available for museum visitors in the garage under the building. For more information, go to www.meadowsmuseumdallas.org or call 214-768-2516.

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