‘Haute couture is like an orchestra whose conductor is Balenciaga.’ Dior
Last weekend, I visited the ‘Balenciaga – Shaping Fashion’ exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition looks at the work of the Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, focusing on his forward looking designs and his influence on modern fashion. From introducing the baby-doll dress, the sack dress and the balloon hem, we have a lot to thank Balenciaga for!
As a fashion enthusiast, I loved this exhibition! I can’t think of anything better than spending a couple of hours looking at some of the most creative designs from a true genius of his time (and guess what, photography and sketching is allowed, rejoice!).
For me, an added highlight was being able to see what was behind the outfits through x-rays of some of the pieces, revealing structures that made sure the pieces hung in exactly the right places. I’m pretty sure I geeked out!Balenciaga’s influence is definitely something that stands out throughout the exhibition – his excellent use of fabric to create volume balanced with simple silhouettes can very easily be found on the runway today. In this respect, the exhibition is very well curated as you also see pieces from designers like Azzedine Alaïa, Oscar de la Renta, Simone Rocha, Gareth Pugh, Celine, Erdem and Molly Goddard who have all been inspired by ‘the master’ Balenciaga.With over 100 Balenciaga pieces (though I wish there were more), this is an exhibition worth seeing. Open till February 2018, you still have plenty of time to visit so make sure you get yourself to the newly re-furbished V&A and enjoy! After the exhibition, why not hang out in the beautiful courtyard of the museum and grab a cup of coffee and cake. You really can’t go wrong…[Details: Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington. Ticket price £12]