Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895–1972) remains one of the most revered and enigmatic of fashion designers. Here, breathtaking illustrations reveal why he is renowned for exceptional tailoring, sculptural shapes, deft manipulation of textiles, and a dramatic use of color. His glamorous clientele included Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Pauline de Rothschild, Ava Gardner, and Marlene Dietrich; many of his clients dressed almost exclusively in his designs, which were celebrated for being both easy to wear and tailored to flatter any figure. Even today, Balenciaga’s name remains synonymous with quality.
This fully revised and extended edition of Balenciaga offers a thorough examination of the Spanish-born couturier’s designs and business practice, and places him firmly in the context of the time, looking at the country in which he learned his trade and the international fashion scene in which he matured and triumphed. His perfectionism, effortless, iconic style, and the wearability of his clothes continue to influence designers today. Illustrated with archival images as well as stunning new photography, this book explores Balenciaga’s legacy in fascinating detail.
'an intriguing tale, that provides valuable insights to the world of couture and twentieth century fashion. ' Olga Dritsopoulou The Journal of Dress History, Volume 2, Issue 3, Autumn 2018
Lesley Ellis Miller is Keeper of Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion at the V&A.