The Innovations of the Fashion Designer Cristobal Balenciaga

Last Updated: 28 Feb 2023
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Cristobal Balenciaga was born in 1895, just over the French border, in. An ancient fishing village called Guetaria, in Spains Basque country.

In 1937, after opening his own tailoring shops in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, and Guetaria, he emigrated to Paris due to the Spanish Civil War. His designs instantly met with acclaim and he would remain there for more than 30 years. His clientele included many of the most elegant women of the postwar years. And he constantly trained younger men like Givenchy, Andre Courreges and Emanuel Ungaro.

By the early 1950s Balenciaga had emerged as the foremost creator among couturiers, and it was to him that everyone looked at to see the future. As a result of his shyness, a mystique grew up around him; as a result of the perfectionism of his work, an aura grew up around the clothes.

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Balenciaga was able to maintain his ability to always be several steps ahead of other couturiers with his incredible integrity and self-allegiance, a fidelity to art as much as to craft. As a great artist, he understood how to interpret his resources rather than merely copy them. The somber blacks and browns of the Old Spanish masters were among his favorite colors and the influence of early moderns like Monet and Manet were also found in his designs.

His clothes were so beautiful and elegant, and so skillfully designed that a woman did not need to have a perfect body to wear them. They moved with the body and were comfortable as well as fashionable. Although his clothes did come with a disclaimer: No woman can make herself chic if she is not chic herself. Only women who could carry them wore his designs.

He was noted for his huge evening coats with dolman sleeves; long, full skirts; tunic and chemise dresses; fitted dressmaker suits; pillbox hats; perfumes; scarves; the seven-eighths coat; and for the development of the fabric gazar, a feather-light silk. Balenciagas extraordinary skill in design, shape, color, cut and tailoring, combined with his knowledge of fabrics, has set him apart from all other designers.

His innovations, especially during the 1950s and 1960s, are still influential: the revolutionary semi- fitted suit jacket of 1951, the 1955 middy dress, which evolved into the waist less chemise, the cocoon coat, the ballroom skirt, the flamenco evening gown cut short in front, long in back, etc. His tailored clothes often revealed unusual erogenous zones: the bones of the wrist poking out from bracelet length sleeves, or the base of the neck being framed by a shallow, curved, stand-away collar. Balenciagas timeless classics have had incalculable influence over other designers and the clothing that women have worn through all this years. His sense of proportion and balance, his mastery of cut, his touches of wit, the architectural quality and essential rightness of his designs have made him be acknowledged as one of the giants of the 20th century couture. And steps ahead of other couturiers with his incredible integrity and self-allegiance. And he understood how to interpret his resources rather than merely.

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The Innovations of the Fashion Designer Cristobal Balenciaga. (2023, Feb 21). Retrieved from

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