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20-10-2005
  1
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Ella's Avatar
 
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1895-1972 Cristobal Balenciaga
A tribute to Cristobal Balenciaga.
Any pictures/articles/sketches etc. are welcome.


Cocktail dress, S/S 1948



Evening coat, F/W 1950



Evening dress, F/W 1950



Day dress, 1955–56



Evening dress, ca. 1959



Day dress, ca. 1960–64



Day coat, 1964



Dress ensemble, ca. 1965–66



Evening dress, F/W 1965—66



Picture credits
metmuseum.org


Last edited by Petit Lucille; 25-06-2011 at 04:11 AM. Reason: Please, do not post credits as urls.
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20-10-2005
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Great Thred!! Karma for you. I love the 1955 day dress

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20-10-2005
  3
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Wow, I'd never seen that evening coat before. So lush and pompous - it provides great context for Nicolas's latest collection.

This is all quite beautiful...an exquisite reminder of why the name Balenciaga was so respected in the first place. Thanks for the thread!

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20-10-2005
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Evening Dress 1959





Sleeveless dress with balloon skirt and matching bolero jacket, 1959



Dinner dress, 1959




Picture credits www.sova.unt.edu/ tfc/collections.htm

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20-10-2005
  5
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Sigh... Loving it!

I really think Nicolas is doing a great job. It's Balenciaga, not Nicolas Ghesquière.

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20-10-2005
  6
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wonderful. breathtaking. just amazing.

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"he waited for other people to understand what he was doing, instead of doing what they wanted.
Balenciaga never compromised."
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20-10-2005
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A photo of him:


Some sketches:


Quote:

It was once said, that when a woman wearing a Balenciaga gown walks into a room, there is no other woman there. His clothes were so elegant, grand and perfectly made, that he alone was known as "The Master".

1885 Cristobal Balenciaga was born in Guetaria, Spain of humble parents. His father was a sailor, who died young. His mother was a dressmaker. His deftness and skill in making clothes was evident from a very early age.

1897 He was apprenticed to a tailor in San Sebastian.

1898 When he was 13, he met the beautiful Marquesa de Casa Torres, who allowed him access to her wardrobe and entrusted him to make a copy of one of her dresses.

1902 Cristobal spent several months in Bordeaux learning French, since he felt this would be essential for his career.

1913 When he was 19 he started to work for Calle de Hernani who made ladies gowns.

1919 Cristobal Balenciaga opened his first salon in San Sebastian, then later a second and a third in 1933 in Madrid. This was run by his sister from 1948 to 1968 when it closed. In 1935 he opened his Barcelona salon.
The Empress Eugenie, the Queen Mother Maria Cristina and other royal ladies, stayed at San Sebastian, a fashionable seaside resort and Balenciago went personally to the Miramar palace for fittings for their gowns.
Throughout the 20's Balenciaga had been visiting Paris buying couture creations to sell at his salons in Spain. He bought from Worth, Lanvin, Cheuit, Molyneux, Paquin, Lelong, Vionnet, Chanel, and Schiaparelli.

1937 When the Spanish civil war started Balenciaga moved to Paris and presented his first collection in August of that year. He was not an inexperienced novice when he arrived in Paris but he was not well-known however within a year his dresses were seen on all fashionable women and he was hailed as the new leading light.

1938 The Duchess of Westminster ordered a pink jersey dress, and the American buyers ordered many of his gowns. Within a year, his name was heard everywhere.
Balenciaga always seemed to be several steps ahead of the other designers. He had what VOGUE called the "flame of prophecy." In the 30's many of his jersey draped dresses looked ahead to a 40's silhouette. When Dior was making headlines with this shape, Balenciaga showed a suit with no waist which became the 'sack' a few years later. By then he was making chemise dresses which would be the sleeveless sheath of the 60's. He was the first in 1957 , to bare the leg to the knee in one of his evening dresses, long before the mini appeared.

1939 When the war began, Balenciaga closed briefly, then carried on using very little material. 1944 Balenciaga's collection featured kimono sleeves with empire line bodice.

1945 As soon as the war was over, Paris fashion went for modern designs, bright colours, lots of fabric and very feminine dresses. Balenciaga produced great creations of lace, velvet, sequined satin and lots of new hats.
Balenciaga hated the fashion press and publicity, and from 1957 denied them entry to his collections. He held his shows a full month after all the other couturiers. He hated the idea of working to please a voracious press that demanded new ideas with every collection. He did not work that way. He refined his ideas with every collection, increasing the level of excellence. He trained Givenchy, Courreges, Ungaro and others and they even now, regard him as their mentor.

Balenciaga's most famous decade was the 1950's, when he introduced many new looks.
One of his famous contributions to fashion was the Baby Doll look, which he introduced in 1957. He applied this name to a group of short flounced lace dresses. The loose lace overdress showed a more adult slinky crepe-de-chine fitted sheath underneath.
In the 60's he was not as popular as he once was and he was not interested in going into pret-a-porter as many designers did. So in 1968 he retired which was a great surprise to everyone. He made only one more creation, the wedding dress of the Duqesa de Cadiz in 1972.

In 1972, he died aged 87.

The sleeve

He was always fanatically precise about sleeves. He himself cut them mathematically and would never allow a less than perfect sleeve to leave his salon on anybody, even visitors. The perfect sleeve should be a living sculpture, beautiful to behold, a discreet play of subtle folds ensuring total comfort. Many people who came to his salon, had their coats snatched away by the Master for improvements to the sleeves. These included the wife of the Spanish Ambassador, Hubert de Givenchy and Bettina Ballard.

Balenciaga Style
He was both designer and craftsman. His entire life was based on seeking out the simple essence. Simplicity was his chief aim. The richness of his work results from the influence of his native Spain. He liked working with silks and satin, and made his clothes as feminine as possible. He was a perfectionist and made superb finishes.
Balenciaga was fascinated by every seam, a master of colour, cut and line. He was the favourite of the purist, whether client, editor or historian. He garments might, at first glance, seem difficult to wear, but for the woman sophisticated enough to understand and project his clothes, they guaranteed the attention of every pair of eyes wherever she went.

Colours
Black was very evident, the black of Spain, so deep in tone that all other blacks looked grey beside it. He used all the browns, from chocolate to nutmeg, palest aquamarine, ice or hot pink, goldenrod, peacock blue, melon orange and teal green. He rarely used printed fabrics, preferring embroidery or sequins.
http://www.designerhistory.com/histo...alenciaga.html

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20-10-2005
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Great thread idea!!... the clothes are so lovely

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20-10-2005
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those coats really, everything
such architechture, what a genius

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20-10-2005
  10
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the clothes are nice, i can see how they were beautiful during his era.

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20-10-2005
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This dress was an auction at Sotheby's a while back:


From a 1953 Vogue, taken in Balenciaga's studio:



Another view of the sleeve, by Irving Penn:

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21-10-2005
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The Evening dress, F/W 1965—66 is so beautiful, the background of the picture makes it stand out even more.

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21-10-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsq
the clothes are nice, i can see how they were beautiful during his era.
They're still beautiful

I love the pink dinner dress from 1959...sigh.

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ten days of perfect tunes
the colors red and blue
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we were in love


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21-10-2005
  14
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it! loved that red evening coat ...

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21-10-2005
  15
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thanks for the thread, ella, we definitely need more designer history
and for the contributions, everyone.

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