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Art review: the Perfectionist Balenciaga in Borås

fashion Designer Cristóbal Balenciaga used a particular word to describe what he hated the most in fashion; cursi! A Spanish expression for the vulgar.

He was known for his kompromisslöshet when it came to style and quality, and dressed the richest and most elegant women in the world.

Now, there is a unique chance to see around forty of his exceptional, made-to-measure creations from the haute couturens heyday in the 50 - and 60-century, at the textile museum in Borås, sweden.

shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the garments belong to the modehistoriens most iconic – but don't expect a grand, spectacular show. This is rather a low-key, but very well researched exhibition that draws a full picture of balenciaga's legendary coutureverksamhet, at the same time as it examines his creative legacy.

We are introduced in balenciaga's world, through the influences that shaped his aesthetics, the creative process, the craftsmanship, the relationship to the distinguished customers as well as the maison, extensive international licensing business.

Balenciaga let themselves be inspired by the home member state the Spanish folklore, flamenco and bullfighting with the dramatic red and black, ruffles and lace. High-quality, custom-made fabrics also had an important role in his creation. Rigid sidentaft and white gazar heard to favoritmaterialen suitable particularly well for the voluminösa forms he desired.

the competitor Christian Dior marked the Balenciaga did not like the waist. Instead of timglasformen, who dominated the fashion, he built his influential sculptural silhouettes on the incision that is covered rather than accentuating the body. As in the peerless, abstract pleated kuvertklänningen from his very last collection in 1967, which is now available on the site in Borås.

the Perfectionist Cristóbal Balenciaga was already during his lifetime a role model for other designers. Christian Dior called him ”our master”, and according to Coco Chanel he was the only ”true couturedesignern”. Since then, generation after generation, constantly recurred to his outstanding oeuvre.

Nearly half of the exhibition's garment represented by the devout followers. Fashion designer who in one way or another has been influenced by balenciaga's signaturuttryck. The sculptural volumes, minimalist lines and rigid materials. An interesting grip, but the visual links are not always completely obvious, and I had rather seen more of the incomparable originals.

the influences of André Courrèges and Emanuel Ungaro, both of which was taught by Balenciaga before they opened their own successful fashion houses. And of the two modern-day megastars who brought up Balenciaga on modeagendan again. It is Nicolas Ghesquière, who shook life in the forgotten house in the late 90's, and Demna Gvasalia, today's influential creative director. Both have rooted deep in the archive and interpreted the master of our time, however not in the form of handmade haute couture, but as high-class prêt à porter.

It is doubtful if the Cristóbal Balenciaga would have appreciated their efforts. He chose to pull back and the bar again the exclusive fashion house in 1968 when the passage of a new, democratic spirit he advocated a faster and more accessible fashion. Balenciaga had no desire to lower the standard. As well as the predecessor Madeleine Vionnet, he was obsessed with modeskapandets the technical aspects of cutting and construction.

He constantly strived to develop garments with cleaner lines and fewer seams. It has always been considered a bit of a mystery how his volumes can soar so freely around the body, seemingly without foundation.

elements in the exhibition at the textile museum is the Victoria & Albert's curious curators of the not have been content to examine the items hidden structures through the laying on of hands. Photographer Nick Veaseys x-ray images of three iconic dresses reveals the advanced techniques and innovative methods, but also in more basic solutions, which are sewn corsets.

at the same time are revealed also other, more curious, secrets. Looking closely at the photograph of actress Ava Gardner's exquisite, mattrosa dress from the mid 60's you see that it is hiding something in kjolfållen. The seamstress has left a couple of pins! A little spicy detail that is reminiscent of those magnificent masterpieces not always been trapped behind glass and key in a museum with dim lighting. Once upon a time was sewn to it so that the needles sprätte for that the dress would be ready in time for a grand entrance.

Fortunately, Balenciaga't see through the fabric. He was otherwise known not to pull in order to tear up and let sömmerskorna start from the beginning, even at the last second. Perfection above all.

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