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Balenciaga Exhibition, the magician of the lace

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On the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the birth of Cristóbal Balenciaga (Getaria, 1895-1972, Javea, Spain), the City of the Calais lace is devoting an exhibition to the great couturier. It addresses a novel topic: the work lace of Balenciaga, the obvious theme as the lace held the interest throughout his career.

Lace, Cristóbal Balenciaga appreciated a lot. He employed more on ornamentation rather thant textiles. He played with motifs, patterns and colors. Balenciaga has explored all ways to use the lace and its magnified characteristics. Gowns to cocktail dresses, tunics accessories, lace is always present in his creations, demonstrating the stylistic originality of the fashion designer, who was also often the cause of the evolution of fashion in the 1950s / 1960.

As illustrated by some spectacular evening dresses, Balenciaga creations evoke the memory dresses painted by Goya and Spanish Zuolaga or the holy Zurbarán. By accessories or clothes like lace scarves, stoles, capes, boleros, tubes, mantillas, gloves, sleeves, Balenciaga exacerbated femininity.

This exhibition also recalls the name of the lace makers such Marescot Dognin, Brivet and to rediscover forgotten materials such as wool or lace techniques such as créponnées. As also shown lace samples, patterns were often hand-painted or embroidered by famous houses such as Lesage and Rébé. As for the tulle, lace without reasons, they could be embroidered, imitating the point of England, or decorated with ribbons gazar simulating designs of lace.

With nearly 75 outfits, accessories (hats, gloves, shoes) as well as photographs and shop drawings, this exhibition offers a great view of the creation of Spanish designer and allows us to draw the Balenciaga history and lace.

The Parisian creations add many outfits made in its fashion houses in Spain, whose paintings were chosen by Balenciaga in his Paris production. In Calais, the City of lace and fashion has acquired some of these parts, which is rare for a French museum. Show this exhibition in Calais, city in which was manufactured many of the mechanical lace used by the designer, is also a way for the museum to honor the lace industry.

Co-production: City of lace and fashion, Calais / Foundation Cristóbal Balenciaga, Getaria, Spain. Presented in Calais in 2015 and Getaria in 2016, this exhibition is made possible through the exceptional loan from the Cristóbal Balenciaga Foundation and the Archives of the Balenciaga Paris with the help of Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris, Palais Galliera , fashion museum of the city of Paris, and the Maison Lesage.

Under the patronage of Mr. Hubert de Givenchy, this exhibition was the subject of an application for exhibition of national interest label.