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The Palais Galliera is paying homage to the couturier Cristobal Balenciaga (1865-1972) the most “Couture” of Couturiers, with an extra-mural exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle from March 8th to July 16th 2017, entitled: Balenciaga, l’oeuvre au noir.

“Clothes were his religion”

What does the museums say: The exhibition resounds with a black harmony of an Haute Couture alchemist. Black motivated Balenciaga : the backbone of his work was inspired by the folklore and traditions of his Spanish childhood. Black was this exceptionally skilled tailor’s preference. Black was a monastic influence on the master, about whom Dior once said: “Clothes were his religion”.

Balenciaga saw black as a vibrant matter whether it be opaque or transparent, matt or shiny – a dazzling interplay of light, that owes as much to the luxurious quality of the fabrics as to the apparent simplicity of the cut. A lace highlight, embroidery, guipure, a heavy drape of silk velvet and, hey presto, you have a skirt, a bolero, a mantilla, a cape reinvented as a coat, a coat tailored as a cape.

Every piece is magnificent, from day clothes to cocktail dresses and sumptuous evening outfits lined in silk taffeta, edged with fringes, decorated with satin ribbons, jet beads, sequins, more than hundred couture variations of black are the treasures of the Galliera collections and the Maison Balenciaga’s archives.

The exhibition is located in the Musée Bourdelle where the sculptures mirror the pure sculptural effect of Cristobal Balenciaga’s stunning creations.

This exhibition opens the Palais Galliera’s Spanish season, which will continue with Costumes espagnols entre ombre et lumière (‘Spanish costumes from dark to bright’) at the Maison Victor Hugo (21 June – 24 September 2017) and will finish with Mariano Fortuny at the Palais Galliera (4 October 2017 – 7 January 2018).

Book your tickets on the official website

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When:
From March 8th to July 16th 2017

Where: Musée Bourdelle, Rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris, France
Metro: Falguière (Line 12) or Montparnasse