Balenciaga at Paris’ Cité de la Mode et du Design

Exhibit Photo by Pierre Antoine/Le Figaro

The Musée Galliera continues its Hors-les-Murs exhibit series with the one-two punch of Balenciaga and Comme des Garçons, open through 7 October 2012 at the *newly-christened* Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris.  The exhibits explore in tandem the work of two of the most revered designers of the past 100 years through a very specific point of view, a curatorial tactic that has become a signature of Galliera director Olivier Saillard, whose past exhibits have juxtaposed 18th century and contemporary clothing in Versailles’ Petit Trianon, and Madame Grès’ sculptural gowns amongst the large-scale sculptures of Antoine Bourdelle.

Cristobal Balenciaga, Collectionneur de Modes combines over 70 historical garments and costumes from the designer’s personal collection of inspirational pieces with 40 Balenciaga-label haute couture dresses and coats for a dynamic selection of clothing that spans the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  Both an exploration of the designer’s passion for historical costume and a reflection of its impact on his own work, the exhibit invites viewers to discover an ‘imaginary museum’ of Balenciaga: the traditional folklore of Spain, black and somber colors, the purity of religious and ceremonial clothing, and the grand masters of Spanish painting, bringing us closer to this ‘Designer’s Designer.’

Comme des Garçons: White Drama, just next door, invites viewers into an altogether different world, though similar in the cerebral approach and fastidious attention to construction of its creator, Rei Kawakubo: an installation of the beloved Japanese label’s celebrated Spring/Summer 2012 ‘White Drama’ Collection.

Open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm, €6 entry valid for both exhibits at the Cité de la Mode et du Design, 34 Quai d’Austerlitz Paris 75013.

Photo by Pierre Antoine/Le Figaro

Fashion croquis of evening dress n.213, Spring/Summer 1965, courtesy Balenciaga Archives

Exhibit photo by Pierre Antoine/Le Figaro

Evening dress n.183, Spring/Summer 1939, courtesy Balenciaga Archives

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