Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cristobal Balenciaga Mastered a Design Era

A born fashion designer, Cristobal Balenciaga was born in Spain in 1895, and obtained his first client at age 13. Balenciaga then made his way to Madrid for formal training. Shortly after that in 1919, Balenciaga had his own couture salons in Barcelona and Madrid. The Spanish Civil War forced him to flee to Paris, where he showed off some of fashion's most influential designs: the cocoon coat, the chemise and the baby-doll dress. Balenciaga closed his empire in 1968. Fortunately, his legacy lived on in some of his assistants. This season, the house has been reinvigorated by Nicolas Ghesquiere, who is reliving the most memorable, rigorous cuts that Balenciaga first became famous for. Boy, am I happy that Balenciaga is back in the fashion spotlight.

Balenciaga's signature boxy
cut in 1954.

Balenciaga's recent design, copper
mesh off-the-shoulder dress.

Balenciaga's draped silk printed dress,
with stretch metallic plate jacket.

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