“Elegance, after all, is a matter of skeleton”
100 years of the opening of the first establishment in San Sebastián of the great Spanish designer, Cristobal Balenciaga.
It was 1917 when a daring young man from Guetaria began in the Guipuzkoan capital a journey that would take him, without reference, to the Paris of the Coco Chanel or Christian Dior. From an early age, Balenciaga was able to demonstrate his talent and taste for fashion at a time when aristocratic patronage was taking its final steps in post-war Europe and allowing our most illustrious designer to start a career that would not stop until Its abrupt end in 1968.
“Elegance after all was a matter of skeleton,” said the designer, convinced that more than fabrics and cuts, grace, that so natural, resides in the pile of bones we have inside.
It was after his march to Paris, partly motivated by the Spanish civil war, that finally catapulted him. Thanks to its totally innovative style featuring a line of sagging shoulders, pinched waist and round hips, it is from the 50’s when it begins to be recognized and displays all its creativity.
Balenciaga defined her profession in this way:
“A good designer must be: architect for the bosses, sculptor for the form, painter for the drawings, musician for the harmony and philosopher for the measurement”
A year before his unexpected retirement, in 1967, the Spanish artist surprised the world with two collections confronting two opposing ideas of women. One of short dresses and bare shoulders with empire size and black lace. Another, with which he sought to confront, clearly, the ascendant “prêt-à-porter”, in woolen suits and impossible pictures that seemed to shout to the upstart: ok, you are cheaper and more comfortable, but you will never reach the miracle that Haute couture.
That year 1967 was 50 years since its first establishment. Today we celebrate 100 years of the milestone. To the obligatory exhibition in Guetaria, it is united to it of Paris, in the Palace of Galliera; “L’oeuvre au oir”, and that of London at the Victoria & Albert Museum; “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion”
Good year this, in short, to give yourself a taste of good taste and let yourself be delighted by the, sometimes, abstract expressionism of the multifaceted Gipuzkoan artist.
Picture: Balenciaga Museum.
This post is also available in: Spanish