Step Inside The VA's Balenciaga Exhibition No Ticket Needed

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24 May 2017
by: Chloe Mac Donnell

Examining the work and legacy of the Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion at the V&A exhibition features over 100 pieces crafted by the designer who Christian Dior dubbed the ‘Master of us all.’ Marking the 100th anniversary of the opening of his first fashion house and 80 years since he opened the door of his famous Paris salon, the exhibition also features sketches, photographs, film and fabric samples plus looks at in detail the craftmanship and techniques that earned him the reputation as one of the most groundbreaking designers of the 20th century. Speaking to the exhibition’s curator ahead of the opening, Cassie Davies-Strodder told us: ‘Balenciaga was a very private person, unlike his contemporary Christian Dior, who was very vocal and even wrote his own autobiography two years into his career. Balenciaga only gave one interview in his entire career and that was when he retired. Even at his catwalk shows he would hide behind a curtain. So although his work is so important I think he has been slightly forgotten so this exhibition is about reasserting him and his influence.’

The exhibition is divided up into themes and starts with a look at Balenciaga’s own personal Spanish history before moving onto explaining how radical his designs were when it came to shape. He was the first to introduce the sack shape dress in 1957, years before it became popular in the Sixties while his Envelope dress looks like it’s just stepped off the spring summer 2017 runways. There’s also a whole section dedicated to headwear, plus pieces from his private couture clients and celebrity fans including Ava Gardner. Spread over two floors, upstairs, you’ll find pieces from current designers who explain Balenciaga’s influence on their own creations. Watch the video below where Cassie walks us around for a sneak peek of what to expect…

We're live at London's Victoria and Albert Museum for a sneak peek of the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition with curator Cassie Davies – StrodderCC: BALENCIAGA

Posted by InStyle UK on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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We’re live at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum for a sneak peek of the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition with curator Cassie Davies – Strodder


Posted by InStyle UK on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

From May 27th

Three other places in the UK to get your fashion fix in 2017

House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth

Sponsored by Gucci, “House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth,” is the largest exhibition ever to be staged at Devonshire’s family home. The stately home whose previous tenants have included “Empress of Fashion” Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; Adele Astaire, sister and dance partner of Fred Astaire, two of the infamous Mitford sisters – Deborah Devonshire and Nancy Mitford, Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy and former model Stella Tennant is said ‘to reveal the cast of characters that have graced the rooms of Chatsworth.’

Six years in the making, it sees the grand rooms of the house showcasing clothing from the past 500 years including couture pieces, wedding gowns, coronation robes plus 19th century fancy dress alongside letters, photographs, examples of textiles and design as well as the family’s famous collection of bug and insect jewellery. Six dresses from house’s legendary ‘the party of the century’ have also been reunited for the first time since they were worn to the Devonshire House Ball in 1897.

Curated by Hamish Bowles, the idea came about when Lady Laura Burlington (wife of William Cavendish, the Earl of Burlington, son and heir of the 12th Duke of Devonshire and current resident of the home) was searching through the Chatsworth textiles archive for a christening gown for her son and came across the huge collection of clothing and textiles that has amassed over the centuries.

Speaking about the exhibition Lady Burlington said: “It is so exciting to see the designs become a reality for this complex and layered exhibition. House Style has developed over the last six years to encompass far more than we originally envisaged when we first started delving into the Chatsworth archive. In some cases, clothes that haven’t seen each other since the 19th century are being reunited. I hope visitors will appreciate the scale and ambition of the exhibition, and enjoy exploring the stories that this clothing and memorabilia reveal about the Cavendish family.”

As part of the Gucci sponsorship, the exhibition also features two dresses designed by creative director Alessandro Michele. The Duchess’s dress was inspired by the Merian books in the Devonshire Collection and can be found in the State Closet while the heavily beaded dress for Lady Burlington is shown in the State Music room.

“House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth” will be at Chatsworth House from March 25 until October 22, sponsored by Gucci.

Disobedient Bodies at the Hepworth Wakefield

Curated by J.W. Anderson, the designer explores the human form in fashion, art and design. Using sculptures including those by Lousie Bourgeois, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore alongside fashion pieces and objects of craft and design, this exhibition looks at how the human form has been reimagined by artists and designers across the 20th and 21st centuries. It also features a new series of photographs by Jamie Hawkesworth who captured 123 Yorkshire school children wearing pieces by designers including Issy Miyake.

The World Of Anna Sui at the Fashion and Textile Museum

This marks the first time an American fashion designer has been the focus of a retrospective in the UK. Organised by themes such as the goth, punk and the bohemian, the exhibition will showcase more than 100 of Sui’s pieces. Using mood boards, sketches and runway images, it will also examine her many design methods and collaborations people including Zandra Rhodes, Barbara Hulanicki, Naomi Campbell and Pat McGrath.

From May 26th

Diana: Her Fashion Story

Celebrating the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, this exhibition traces the evolution of her style throughout her life from her very first public appearance. Highlights include the iconic blue velvet gown she wore at the White House when she danced with John Travolta and the pink Emanuel blouse she wore for a portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981. Alongside the exhibition, Kensington Palace are creating a White Garden in their grounds to mark 20 years since Diana’s death.

Until 28 February 2018


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