Anna Lee (Анна Щукина) (ana_lee) wrote,
Anna Lee (Анна Щукина)

Balenciaga в рисунках

Pierre-Laurent Brénot - Balenciaga, 1943

René Gruau - Maggy Rouff & Balenciaga, 1945

René Gruau - Balenciaga, 1952

Pierre Mourgue - Balenciaga, 1946

Emilien Dufour - Balenciaga & Lelong, 1937

Jc. Haramboure - Balenciaga, 1941

Léon Bénigni - Balenciaga, 1941

Léon Bénigni - Balenciaga, 1942

Pierre-Laurent Brénot - Balenciaga, 1943

Christian Bérard - Balenciaga, 1944

Pierre-Laurent Brénot - Balenciaga, 1945

Pierre-Laurent Brénot - Hermès (Couture) & Balenciaga, 1945

André Delfau - Balenciaga, 1945

Pierre Mourgue - Balenciaga, 1945

Pierre Mourgue - Lanvin & Balenciaga, 1945

René Gruau - Balenciaga, 1945

Pierre Mourgue - Schiaparelli, Marcel Rochas, Balenciaga, 1945

André Delfau - Balenciaga, 1945

René Gruau - Maggy Rouff & Balenciaga, 1945

Reinoso - Maggy Rouff & Balenciaga, 1946
Pierre Mourgue - Paquin, Balenciaga & Robert Piguet, 1946

Pierre Mourgue - Balenciaga, 1946

André Delfau -  Pierre Balmain & Balenciaga, 1946

René Gruau - Balenciaga, 1946


Eduardo Benito - Balenciaga, 1946

Pierre Mourgue - Balenciaga, 1946

Jacques Demachy - Balenciaga,  1946

Christian Bérard- Balenciaga, 1946

J-A. Bonnaud - Piquet & Balenciaga, 1946

  Bernard Blossac - Balenciaga, Maggy Rouff & Balmain, 1947

Denyse de Bravura - Christian Dior & Balenciaga, 1947

Balenciaga, 1947

Lila de Nobili - Balenciaga & Lucien Lelong, 1947

Grisot - Christian Dior & Balenciaga, 1948

Louis Moles -  Christian Dior, Marcel Rochas, Jacques Fath, Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain, Jeanne Lanvin, 1948

Eric - Balenciaga, 1948

Eric - Balenciaga & Gres, 1950

Bernard Blossac, 1951

Rene Gruau - Balenciaga, 1951

Simone Brousse -  Piguet & Balenciaga, 1951

Jc. Haramboure - Maggy Rouff, Lucien Lelong, Balenciaga, Jacques Fath,  1951

René Gruau - Balenciaga, 1952

Diaz - Balenciaga & Jeanne Lanvin, 1952

Pierre Simon - Balenciaga, 1953

Bernard Blossac - Balenciaga & Balmain, 1954

Cristóbal Balenciaga
« Cristóbal Balenciaga was until 1937 the leading couturier of San Sebastián, with establishments also in Barcelona and Madrid. Contributing in part to his very decided success in Spain was the fact that he twice yearly bought models in Paris. These biannual visits to the fashion capital eventually fired him with the desire for a permanent place in Paris, in the center of the world couture. In 1937, at a time when the Spanish Civil War had much bearing on his decision, he opened his own Paris establishment.-- Many Spanish patrons of the couture, in extended residence in Paris because of the war, immediately brought their patronage to this talented fellow countryman, a vogue which rapidly included smart Parisiennes and Americans. He met with such wide and increasing acclaim that when the first Americans returned to Paris in August, 1944, after the Liberation, they were delighted to find his house fully staffed, solidly established, and flourishing.
Balenciaga is a simple man, yet his designs proclaim his leadership and show the tastes and temperament of a true Spaniard: when the mode allows there is, in his collection, a predomination of black, and black and brown, a lavish handling of exquisite laces, an emphasis with heavy passementeries, braids, fringes, and tassels.
A certain show of temperamental intolerance with the press has proved costly to him these later years — a refusal to be photographed, a refusal to see and talk with any except those whom he favors, and a policy of admitting to his showings only those who are personally welcome with him, even if he himself is not to be there.
His designs have had a great acceptance since World War II, and why not? He knew as a child that he wanted to design clothes and worked untiringly to realize his ambitions. He has been credited with several fashion "firsts," among them the use of a stiffened fabric to extend pockets and hips, and a hair style called the Balenciaga bun, which was a big knot or braid of hair worn atop the head.
Balenciaga is a patron of the arts, especially the old French Masters. He is also a lover of outdoor activities — skiing, boating, and other sea sports. He rarely makes sports clothes, but, catering only to the sophisticate, creates strikingly dramatic dresses or suits for special or festive wear. He does not like to dress women who in themselves have no chic. He says that when a woman finds a designer who makes clothes that flatter her, she should pledge her loyalty to that house and bask in its rightness for her.
His collections are first shown in Paris, and afterward the entire line is taken to his establishments in Spain for showing to his customers there. He is a lone worker, follows his own ideas of what is right and acceptable. He has a sense of timing that might be considered almost clairvoyant.  »

Source: Dressmakers of France, Picken & Miller (1956)

Cristobal Balenciaga's primary fashion achievement was in tailoring, the Spanish-born couturier was a virtuoso in knowing, comforting, and flattering the body. He could demonstrate tailoring proficiency in a tour de force one-seam coat, its shaping created from the innumerable darts and tucks shaping the single piece of fabric. His consummate tailoring was accompanied by a pictorial imagination that encouraged him to appropriate ideas of kimono and sari, return to the Spanish vernacular dress of billowing and adaptable volume, and create dresses with arcs that could swell with air as the figure moved. There was a traditional Picasso-Matisse question of postwar French fashion: who was greater, Dior or Balenciaga? Personal sensibility might support one or the other, but it is hard to imagine any equal to Balenciaga's elegance, then or since.

Balenciaga was a master of illusion. The waist could be strategically low, it could be brought up to the ribs, or it could be concealed in a tunic or the subtle opposition of a boxy top over a straight skirt. Balenciaga envisioned the garment as a three-dimensional form encircling the body, occasionally touching it and even grasping it, but also spiraling away so the contrast in construction was always between the apparent freedom of the garment and its body-defining moments. Moreover, he regularly contrasted razor-sharp cut, including instances of the garment's radical geometry, with soft fragile features.

A perfectionist who closed down his business in 1968 rather than see it be compromised in a fashion era he did not respect, Balenciaga projected ideal garments, but allowed for human imperfection. He was, in fact, an inexorable flatterer, a sycophant to the imperfect body. To throw back a rolled collar gives a flattering softness to the line of the neck into the body; his popular seven-eighths sleeve flattered women of a certain age, while the tent-like drape of coats and jackets were elegant on clients without perfect bodies. His fabrics had to stand up to his almost Cubist vocabulary of shapes, and he loved robust wools with texture, silk gazar for evening, corduroy (surprising in its inclusion in the couture), and textured silks.

Balenciaga's garments lack pretension; they were characterized by self-assured couture of simple appearance, austerity of details, and reserve in style. For the most part, the garments seemed simple. American manufacturers, for example, adored Balenciaga for his adaptability into simpler forms for the American mass market in suits and coats. The slight rise in the waistline at center front or the proportions of chemise tunic to skirt make Balenciaga clothing as harmonious as a musical composition, but the effect was always one of utmost insouciance and ease of style. Balenciaga delved deeply into traditional clothing, seeming to care more for regional dress than for any prior couture house.

As Marie-Andrée Jouve demonstrated in Balenciaga, (New York, 1989), his garments allude to Spanish vernacular costume and to Spanish art: his embroidery and jet-beaded evening coats, capelettes, and boleros are redolent of the torero, while his love of capes emanates from the romance of rustic apparel. Chemise, cape, and baby doll shapes might seem antithetical to the propensities of a master of tailoring, but Balenciaga's 1957 baby doll dress exemplifies the correlation he made between the two. The lace cage of the baby doll floats free from the body, suspended from the shoulders, but it is matched by the tailored dress beneath, providing a layered and analytical examination of the body within and the Cubist cone on the exterior, a tantalizing artistry of body form and perceived shape.

The principal forms for Balenciaga were the chemise, tunic, suit— with more or less boxy top—narrow skirt, and coats, often with astonishing sleeve treatments, suggesting an arm transfigured by the sculptor Brancusi into a puff or into almost total disappearance. Balenciaga perceived a silhouette that could be with or without arms, but never with the arms interfering. A famous Henry Clark photograph of a 1951 Balenciaga black silk suit focuses on silhouette: narrow and high waist with a pronounced flare of the peplum below and sleeves that billow from elbow to seven-eighths length; an Irving Penn photograph concentrates on the aptly named melon sleeve of a coat. Like a 20th-century artist, Balenciaga directed himself to a part of the body, giving us a selective, concentrated vision. His was not an all-over, all-equal vision, but a discriminating, problem-solving exploration of tailoring and picture-making details of dress. Balenciaga was so very like a 20th-century artist because in temperament, vocabulary, and attainment, he was one.

When Cristobal Balenciaga retired (though he briefly came out of retirement to design a wedding dress for Franco's granddaughter), his fashion empire was run by the German chemical group Hoechst. Balenciaga died in March 1972 and Hoechst managed the business until 1986 when Jacques Bogart S.A. acquired the company. Couture was discontinued in favor of ready-to-wear and the first Balenciaga collection, designed by Michel Goma, debuted in 1987. Over the next several years, the company began opening Balenciaga boutiques and brought in a new head designer, Josephus Thimister, in 1992. Dutch designer Thimister created predominately eveningwear and some Basque-flavored loungewear, but he left in 1997 and was replaced by a young designer named Nicolas Ghesquiére.

Ghesquiére had worked in Balenciaga's licensed clothing lines and while his ascension to head designer wasn't met with the enthusiasm of Givenchy's Alexander McQueen, or John Galliano taking over at Christian Dior, Ghesquiére soon brought Balenciaga a welcome renaissance. His first collection, spring/summer 1998 attracted little attention, but his second showing garnered accolades from critics and fellow designers alike. Balenciaga in the 21st century is tremendously popular, featuring shades of original Cristobal Balenciaga designs with a Ghesquiére twist. Sales under Ghesquiére's reign have doubled in the last few years; the venerable Maison Balenciaga is alive and well, and its future is bright.


Lesley Ellis Miller "Balenciaga"
Myra Walker "Balenciaga and His Legacy: Haute Couture from the Texas Fashion Collection"

Marie-Andree Jouve "Balenciaga (Memoirs)"
Tags: designers, fashion illustration
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