Synopses & Reviews
Born in 1895 in a remote fishing village in Spain, Cristóbal Balenciaga learned sewing and tailoring at his mother's knee. By 1937, the talented and persistent young man had opened his own design salon in Paris, and in the years following World War II he emerged as a designer to be reckoned with in the world of haute couture
. The House of Balenciaga grew to serve an international clientele from locations in Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona, and from 1937 to its closing in 1968 created some of the most outstanding and innovative examples of French and Spanish haute couture of the era.
This beautifully illustrated book presents nearly 70 Balenciaga creations for day and evening, along with 25 hats, from the extraordinary archives of the Texas Fashion Collection of the University of North Texas. The book also includes striking fashion photographs from Vogue magazine and Harper's Bazaar by Richard Avedon and Louise Dahl-Wolfe. A series of essays explores many aspects of the designer's work, among them his contributions to fashion history; connections with such other prominent designers as Hubert de Givenchy and Oscar de la Renta; important relationships with Neiman Marcus and fashion buyer Bert de Winter in Dallas; and his close friend and client Claudia Heard de Osborne.
"Aloof and ascetic, Balenciaga (1895-1972) shunned the publicity, commercial deals, and social whirl Dior depended on, refusing to be photographed by the press and granting only one interview, three years after his retirement. Repeatedly offered a fortune to develop a prêt à porter line, he invariably answered: 'I shall never prostitute my art.'" Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly
(read the entire Atlantic Monthly review
About the Author
Myra Walker is curator and director of the Texas Fashion Collection and professor in the School of Visual Arts at the University of North Texas. She lives in Dallas.