Balenciaga Cristobal

(1895 – 1972; Spain) From his early age he demonstrated his love for the tailoring and in 1915 he managed to open a Maison in San Sebastian, thanks also to his grandmother. Despite he bought the pattern of the most important dressmakers (including Chanel who  was one of his favorites), he began to make the jackets with brilliant proportions rules (in fact the jacket perfectly suited for all the sizes).

Cause of the Civil War he had to stop his activity and only at the age of 42 he managed to win back the public, but this long road to fame mortified him greatly. He enjoyed the real success in the 60’s, thanks to the reinterpretation of the Empire style dress.

He created himself the fabrics to use and he did not follow the latest fashion trends, but he had him style, with seemingly hard-to-wear garments, but actually they make the women feel comfortable. He loved the plain garments, especially black .

An important characteristic of his style were the changes in his collections, very subtle changes but  decisive, in the meantime designers used to change style very quickly.  In ’56 his “sack” line was  an uproar, it also had a starring role in many mockeries:  later it became a very famous garment thanks to some changes that made it a exclusive tunic, very well thought up, many are coping it to this day. Other typical features are the “three-quarter sleeves” and the use of the same fabric to make the dress and the hat.

Even his famous tweed suit, with the frayed and moved away collar with 4 big buttons is still loved today: it was really important in his opinion that the woman had moved away the neck. According to Cristobal, however, the elegance of the woman was an innate quality: the designer could only accentuate this characteristic, but could not create it.

In 1968, with the coming of prêt-à-porter he decides to retire and now his brand is part of Gucci Group.

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