Tuesday, January 4, 2011


We have until February 19th to see the Balenciaga exhibit at The Queen Sofia Spanish Institute... so, I've got to get a trip to NYC in between now and the 19th.... and did I mention that it is curated by Hamish Bowles!  Who's going with me?

Balenciaga "Infanta" evening dress, 1939 Copyright, R.J. Horst - Courtesy Staley/Wise Gallery, NYC.
  From the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute -

Gallery Hours: Mon. - Thurs.: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. ; Fri.: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. ; Sat.: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: $15 for adults; $10 for students, seniors, and Institute members.

This November, Queen Sofía Spanish Institute is proud to present BALENCIAGA: Spanish Master, the first exhibition to consider the impact of Spain's culture, history and art on one of its greatest twentieth-century sons, the legendary designer Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972). Hailed as "Fashion's Picasso" by Cecil Beaton, Balenciaga's innovations transformed the way women dressed, from the opening of his Paris fashion house in 1937 until his retirement in 1968. His visionary designs and impeccable standards seduced generations of the best-dressed women in the world.

Following its inauguration by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain, BALENCIAGA: Spanish Master officially opened to the public on November 19, 2010 and remains on view through February 19, 2011. The exhibition was conceived by Oscar de la Renta, Chairman of the Institute's Board of Directors, who has worked closely with the exhibition team to develop and realize the show. Mr. de la Renta himself began his career in fashion working in Madrid at Eisa, one of the Spanish branches of Balenciaga's fashion empire.

The exhibition curator is Hamish Bowles, Vogue's European Editor at Large and the curator of the 2001 exhibition Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years, which opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to widespread critical attention and acclaim, and later traveled to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, the Field Museum in Chicago, and Les Arts décoratifs, musée de la Mode et du Textile in Paris.

Showcasing more than seventy items of Cristóbal Balenciaga clothing and accessories, BALENCIAGA: Spanish Master is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between the House of Balenciaga in Paris and an American institution. Queen Sofia Spanish Institute is indebted to Balenciaga, which has opened up its Archives and whose immense generosity has enabled a unique loan of historically significant Cristóbal Balenciaga garments to the exhibition, in addition to access to the Archives' related materials and iconography. Masterpieces from this highly significant collection include Balenciaga's 1939 "Infanta" gown, and his four-point silk gazar dress of 1967 which illustrates the increasing abstraction and experimentation in his work.

In partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Spain, highlights from the Fundación Cristóbal Balenciaga include the extraordinary embroidered 1957 wedding dress of Sonsoles Díez de Rivera (daughter of Balenciaga's Spanish muse, the Marquesa de Llanzol), which is as splendid as the vestments of a Sevillana Madonna figure.

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