Designs by Cristóbal Balenciaga to be featured in the V&A's upcoming exhibition.

REVISITING BALENCIAGA: The Victoria & Albert Museum has revealed plans to stage “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion,” an exhibition that will pay homage to the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga.

This will be the first exhibit on the couturier’s work in the U.K., and is planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first Cristóbal Balenciaga store opening in San Sebastián, Spain and also with the 80th anniversary of his famous Paris salon.

The show will examine the ways the late designer’s innovative use of fabrics and craftsmanship influenced haute couture in the 20th century by focusing on the work he produced during the Fifties and Sixties, which the exhibition’s curator Cassie Davies-Strodder highlights as the couturier’s most creative period.

“The exhibition will focus on the exquisite craftsmanship, mastery of cutting, and pioneering use of fabrics that made Balenciaga’s designs so special and set him apart from his contemporaries. It will also explore his lasting impact on the world of fashion through his protégés including André Courrèges, Emanuel Ungaro, Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy and through his continued influence on fashion designers today,” Davies-Strodder said.

More than 100 garments and 20 hats from the museum’s archives will be on display, some of which have never been seen before. Sketches, photographs, fabric samples, toiles and film will also be used alongside the garments to contextualize the designer’s work and offer a detailed view of his methods of construction.

“The exhibition will be a celebration of the V&A’s extensive Balenciaga holdings, first collected for the museum in the Seventies by Balenciaga’s long-standing friend, the fashion photographer Cecil Beaton,” added Davies-Strodder.

Earlier this year, an exhibition of 27 creations by the designer dating from 1930 to 1968 took place at the new Kering headquarters in Paris as part of European Heritage Days. Kering now owns the brand and the creative director is Demna Gvasalia.

The Victoria & Albert show will open in May, and will run until February 2018.

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