Balenciaga is one of the most storied high fashion houses, because its founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga was a groundbreaking designer that change the world of fashion. Paying homage to his designs and legacy is an upcoming exhibition at Antwerp’s Mode Museum. The exhibition will examine how the Spanish couturier changed the silhouette of women’s clothing in the 20th century, and his influence on today’s top fashion designers.
Titled Game Changers – Reinventing the 20th Century Silhouette, it tracks the changes in the shapes and forms of women’s clothing within the last century. The focal point is reinventing the 20th-Century Silhouette focusing on Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work during the 1950s and 1960s. His mid-century designs provided a turning point in fashion and prepared the ground for the often extreme ventures of 90s and 80s avant-garde fashion houses. It was when he created unconventional silhouettes that diverged from the popular hourglass shape. Those dramatically different designs created volumes around their wearers and gives the woman body more freedom of movement. He introduced architectural volume into clothing, and inspired countless of designers after him.
While keeping the Balenciaga’s oeuvre in focus, the exhibition will also present the pioneering work of his couture ancestors and descendants. Through showcasing a range of actual designs and sketches that unites 100 unique couture and ready-to-wear silhouettes by Cristóbal Balenciaga, along with Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet, Gabrielle Chanel, Issey Miyake, Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto and Maison Martin Margiela. It is more than fitting that Balenciaga’s game changing work will be shown in this exhibition. Because as Christian Dior once said, “Haute couture is like an orchestra, whose conductor is Balenciaga. We other couturies are musicians and we follow the direction he gives”.
Game Changers will run from 18 March to 14 August 2016 at Mode Museum, located on Antwerp’s Nationalestraat.