This weekend, I took my travels to London! It was a beautiful city with such a modern feel, and one of my favorite things I did was attend the Victoria and Albert Museum. This gorgeous museum houses various art collections that are free to the public, and this season they’re featuring a fashion exhibit! The Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibit was an interesting look at the famous designer and his influence on the fashion world in 2017. As someone who didn’t know too much about Balenciaga, I really enjoyed this glimpse into his past, and seeing all of the beautiful works he created!
The exhibit starts off with some small tidbits of information about who Cristobal Balenciaga was, his humble beginnings, and how he got involved in fashion design. There were features on some of his signature techniques, with examples: think balloon-sleeve dresses and architecturally done jackets. Balenciaga designs became recognizable for their elegant, sleek feel, and this is what makes his work so translatable many years later. There were also some old sketch books and color boards for collections!
The exhibit then highlighted some famous clients of Balenciaga, including Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, who stayed loyal to the designer till the very end. There were a few cool interactive bits that let you try your hand at the design techniques he commonly used, and some old videos of model fittings and Balenciaga at work. Talk about a blast from the past.
Moving upstairs, the exhibit focused on Balenciaga’s influence on modern designers like Christian Dior, Proenza Schouler, and Raf Simons, to name a few. It was clear how Balenciaga’s approach to femininity was reflected in these designer’s works, and I loved seeing how they made some of his techniques more modern to reflect today’s trends. It’s really cool to track the work of someone who had such a timeless approach to fashion. This exhibit definitely made me more interested in Balenciaga as a designer, and it made me think about what designers of today we will use as a reference point for the future.
If you’ve seen the Shaping Fashion exhibit, let me know your thoughts below!