Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895–1972) is often called “the couturier’s couturier”—the fashion designer revered by all other fashion designers. From his first runway collection, in 1937, through the closure of his Paris salon, in 1968, Balenciaga’s clients were among the most influential trendsetters of the day. This autumn, the Kimbell Art Museum will partner with the Palais Galliera, the distinguished fashion museum of the city of Paris, to present Balenciaga in Black, an exhibition of more than one hundred pieces from the collections of the Galliera and the archives of the Maison Balenciaga.
The carefully selected costumes and accessories, all made by hand in the haute-couture ateliers of this fashion genius, share one major feature: they are all black. For Balenciaga, black was vibrant, capable of exhibiting a dazzling interplay of light through luxurious fabrics and materials. This exhibition reveals the masterful shapes created by the artist with apparently simple cuts and impeccably composed adornments of lace, embroidery, silk, fringes, beads, and sequins. These expertly executed, timeless silhouettes continue to inspire modern fashion.
This exhibition is organized by the Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, Paris Musées.