One of my favorite designers of all time and one of my current design inspirations is the fabulous Spaniard Cristobal Balenciaga. But even Balenciaga had his inspirations, a collection of beautiful antique and period pieces that served as inspiration for his marvelous cocktails dresses, and couture creations.
This year, to mark his 40 year career, the Palais Galliera, along with his collaborator Fernando Martinez Herreros and the House of Balenciaga is putting together over 70 pieces from Balenciaga's private collection (now donated to Galliera) for a wonderful show that will run, in Paris, from April 13 to October 7 of this year. I will be in Paris in the fall, and I am hoping to catch a glimpse to this man's creative genius, as well as the fantastic collection.
The pieces from the 18th, 19th and 20th century will be juxtaposed with 40 of Balenciaga's inspired garments, along with original sketches from the artist. The expo is devided into six sections that will show exactly how he specifically collected and drew inspiration for his designs. I find this process incredibly interesting because, as a designer, I am always looking for ways to organize my sources of inspiration. This wonderful idea by the Galliera, not only examines Cristobal Balenciaga's trayectory, but also serves as a way to illustrate his creative process as well.
The Andalusian's men ballet jacket above, similar to something a matador would wear, is just one of the pieces currently in the exhibit. At the show it is juxtaposed with a beautiful bolero from his 1947 collection. Gettings inspired by a men's piece to create a delicate woman's jacket was definitely pushing boundaries in the 40's. This is the type of thing, the poetic licence he took, makes me admire him even more.
I hope I do get to see this wonderful expo. It would make my time in Paris even more special. If I don't, lucky for me, the city of lights is always full of erudite happenings, wonderful lectures and fabulous museum exhibits. Can't wait to visit.