Balenciaga, black star

For this exhilarating exhibition, organized by the Palais Galliera and held at the Musée Bourdelle, the colour black becomes warm, luminous, and inspiring.

This study in monochrome revolves around some 100 designs, all in black, signed by “the couturier of couturiers,” Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Though the Spanish Basque master also distinguished himself with his innate sense for bold color, black was his true religion. This alchemist of fabrics treated black like a living material, creating new intensities between opacity and transparency, enhanced by exceptional fabrics.

Whether a skirt, bolero, or evening gown, the Palais Galliera’s selection is curated like a fantasia of opposites, where this great technician’s streamlined designs and monastic inspirations come sharply into view.

The perfect opportunity to explore Balenciaga’s enormous contribution to the 20th-century view of the feminine silhouette, with his balloon jacket (1953) and sack dress (1957). Balenciaga earned the loyalty of legendary clients including Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duchess of Windsor, and the queens of Spain and Belgium.

The Musée Bourdelle is an ideal setting for the master’s dark art, in striking contrast to the white sculptures of French artist Antoine Bourdelle. A dialogue between masters.

Balenciaga, l'oeuvre au noir
Until 16 july

Musée Bourdelle,
16, rue Antoine-Bourdelle, Paris 15 (01 49 54 73 73)

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