Look of the day: Karen Tamblyn

Look of the day: Karen Tamblyn

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Balenciaga and Spain at De Young Museum in San Francisco

Vogue European Editor at Large Hamish Bowles

Cecil Beaton's Quote

What a treat it was to have a private preview of the new Balenciaga and Spain exhibit at the De Young Museum!!

The private presentation was conducted by FAM Board president Dede Wilsey, Curator and European Editor-at -large for Vogue Hamish Bowles and FAM Director John Buchanan.

FAM Board President Dede Wilsey

Balenciaga and Spain, the De Young Museum's current exhibit examines a captivating look at the influence of Spain's culture, history art and traditions on the legendary master designer Cristobal Balenciaga who was born on January 21, 1895 in Guetaria, Spain.

Cristobal Balenciaga 1895-1972

The exhibition features 120 Balenciaga's greatest creations including garments, hats and headdresses drawn from the strengths of the Fine Arts Museums's costume holdings and private collections which include the Archives Balenciaga, Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Paris's Musee de la Mode and Musee Galliera and, of course, some of Mr. Bowles' own collection.

Balenciaga's signature silhouettes

Balenciaga's signature silhouettes

Dance Theme

Black silk organza evening ensemble, summer 1951

Bullfight Theme

Day suit, Summer 1948
Worn By Doris Duke

Evening dress, summer 1951
Archives Balenciaga, Paris

The exhibition begins with the display of a pink silk taffetta evening dress, Winter 1957, worn Mrs. Peter Baumberger. It is then followed by an introductoryt gallery featuring three decades of Balenciaga's signature silhouettes, all in tones of black that demostrate his mastery of volume, his use of fabric and masterful embellishment. From there, it unfolds in six areas: Dance, Bullfighting, Regional dress, Spanish Art, the Spanish Court and Religious Ceremony. English photographer and designer Cecil Beaton hailed Balenciaga as "Fashion's Picasso." In his work Balenciaga shows the refinement of France and the strength of Spain. He uses fabric like a sculptor working in marble. Hamish Bowles, the show's curator, remarked on his exquisite skill in everything down to the last stitch. The legendary Coco Chanel called Balenciaga "the only couturier." All the other, she said, "are just draughtsman." He had a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was hailed a "the master of us all" by Christian Dior.

Evening dress, Summer 1963
Worn by Jeanne Magnin

Red silk taffeta cocktail dress with cape, summer 1962
Worn by Mrs. Antenor Patino

Cocktail ensemble with dress and jacket, Winter 1951
Worn by Bettina Ballard

Evening dress, winter 1965
Worn by Ava Gardner

Lime green silk gazar evening dress, winter 1967

Evening dress, Winter 1959
Worn by Julia Henry

Cocktail dress, winter 1967
Archives Balenciaga, Paris

The exhibition is filled with impeccable garments worn by generations of the most iconic, stylish women in the world including Ava Gardner, Gloria Guinness, Julian Henry, Doris Duke, Bettina Ballard, Jeanne Magnin among others. It offers insights into both present and past fashion. Definitely a MUST SEE exhibit!!!

Balencaiga and Spain
De Young Museum March 26 - July 4, 2011
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco CA 94118