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Born in 1895 in a remote fishing village in Spain, Cristóbal Balenciaga learned sewing and tailoring at his mother’s knee. By 1937, the talented and persistent young man had opened his own design salon in Paris, and in the years following World War II he emerged as a designer to be reckoned with in the world of haute couture. The House of Balenciaga grew to serve an international clientele from locations in Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona, and from 1937 to its closing in 1968 created some of the most outstanding and innovative examples of French and Spanish haute couture of the era.
This beautifully illustrated book presents nearly 70 Balenciaga creations for day and evening, along with 25 hats, from the extraordinary archives of the Texas Fashion Collection of the University of North Texas. The book also includes striking fashion photographs from Vogue magazine and Harper’s Bazaar by Richard Avedon and Louise Dahl-Wolfe. A series of essays explores many aspects of the designer’s work, among them his contributions to fashion history; connections with such other prominent designers as Hubert de Givenchy and Oscar de la Renta; important relationships with Neiman Marcus and fashion buyer Bert de Winter in Dallas; and his close friend and client Claudia Heard de Osborne.
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Myra Walker is curator and director of the Texas Fashion Collection and professor in the School of Visual Arts at the University of North Texas. She lives in Dallas.From Booklist:
How to connect a famous Spanish-French couturier with exhibits at the University of North Texas? Via Dallas-based department store founder Stanley Marcus and family and a prominent local socialite who spearheaded, first, a multipronged collection. Curator Myra Walker narrates, through interviews with Balenciaga descendants, students such as Hubert de Givenchy, and donor biographies, the life and times of an artist who shunned the concept of ready-to-wear clothing for women. Elegant photographs from the lenses of Richard Avedon and Horst P. Horst, among others, not only pay homage to timeless designs--his tailored T-shirt tunic, for instance--but also contrast copycat styles from the houses of Courreges, de la Renta, and Ungaro. Tales delight, whether it's Caroline Heard de Osborne's memory of a Peggy Guggenheim party or the first vendeuse/salesperson hired by Cristobal Balenciaga. An exhibit that showcases classic art to be treasured. Barbara Jacobs
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