Balenciaga delicately unravels ‘The Woman Behind The Dress’ — a poetic ode to house founder Cristóbal Balenciaga‘s adoration for the art of sculpting fashion onto the female form.
In the heart of Paris, behind the stately walls of 40 rue de Sèvres, Balenciaga invites you to lose yourself in the sublime intricacies of a mastermind. In honor of the 2023 European Heritage Days (Journées Européennes du Patrimoine) from September 16th to 17th, Balenciaga delicately unravels ‘The Woman Behind The Dress’ — a poetic ode to house founder Cristóbal Balenciaga‘s adoration for the art of sculpting fashion onto the female form. With this exquisite exhibition, we are granted access to an intimate soiree of Balenciaga’s archives, a treasure trove that has evaded the public eye for years.
At the heart of this exhibition, one uncovers the profound reverence Cristóbal had for the nuanced individualities of the women he dressed. It wasn’t merely about draping fabric; it was about reimagining the very essence of the female form, creating works that went beyond convention, transforming with a finesse reminiscent of an artist chiseling a sculpture. Every single ensemble and mannequin curated for this exhibition echoes Cristóbal’s avant-garde craftsmanship.
His designs, celebrated for their marvelous structural engineering, bore testimony to his genius — an unparalleled ability to harmonize tradition with abstraction, offering a renewed vision of feminine beauty free from the chains of societal norms. Perhaps it was this iconoclastic view that allowed him to craft for royalty, artists, and luminaries alike. Pieces that once graced legends like Ingrid Bergman, Agnes de Mille, and the exquisite Mona von Bismarck are now elegantly poised for your viewing pleasure. Amid these iconic creations, one finds the velvet masterpiece crafted for Princess Grace of Monaco, which also graced Balenciaga’s muse, Danielle Slavik, in a recent couture show — binding the brand’s storied past with its vibrant present.
Demna, the house’s current artistic visionary, resonates deeply with this sentiment. Drawing parallels, he beautifully captures the essence, stating, “What he created on the body with the clothes was a bit like plastic surgery.” It is a delicate dance of tradition and innovation, echoing a time when fashion was an intimate affair, an authentic expression of one’s unique essence. ‘The Woman Behind The Dress’ is more than an exhibition; it’s an invitation. It is an invitation to witness the seamless blend of personality and couture in order to understand that true fashion isn’t a universal mold but a canvas that celebrates every woman’s distinctive grace. Join us on this ethereal journey as Balenciaga redefines the lens through which we perceive fashion and its ethereal muses.