Shaping the Fashion World: Balenciaga at the V&A

Opening on 27 May at the V&A is the first UK retrospective of innovative fashion Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga’s work. Marking the 100th anniversary of his first shop in San Sebastian and the 80th anniversary of his fashion house in Paris, the exhibition showcases Balenciaga’s long career and how his vision is still influencing modern fashion to this day.

On display are not only the creative works of Balenciaga himself, but also of his proteges and designers who continue to upset the fashion world with modern and interesting new shapes today.

The focus is Balenciaga’s work in the 1950s and 60s, where he created many new shapes in fashion- from the baby doll dress to the tunic and the sack dress. Dresses made for socialites and icons of the time, from Ava Gardner to Mona von Bismarck, a wealthy couture client, are on display as well. Over 100 garments and 20 hats are on display, many of which have never been exhibited in public before.

Sketches, photos, patterns, x-rays, catwalk footage and more will round out the exhibition to give viewers a feel for the innovations and hidden details in Balenciaga’s creations.

Fancy a fashionable day out? Check out the exhibition, then head to Daphne’s in South Kensington for a Balenciaga-inspired signature cocktail, followed by a two course lunch or early dinner (£40 per person). Available Monday Friday and 2-6pm on Saturday during the exhibition. Book directly with the restaurant.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, sponsored by American Express, at the V&A from 27 May 2017 – 18 February Advanced booking advised; tickets £12. Open daily, 10am- 5.30pm, Fridays until 9.30pm.

© Iro 1967. Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper's Bazaar, June 1967.

Rebecca Magniant

Where to find it ?

Victoria and Albert Museum

Cromwell Road

SW7 2RL London

020 7942 2000

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