Balenciaga suit, Régine, Paris, 1950
Cristobal Balenciaga, (1895 – 1972) a Spanish Basque fashion designer and the founder of the Balenciaga fashion house.
Balenciaga was a master of illusion. He projected ideal garments, but allowed for human imperfection. He was, in fact, an inexorable flatterer, a sycophant to the imperfect body. To throw back a rolled collar gives a flattering softness to the line of the neck into the body; his popular seven-eighths sleeve flattered women of a certain age, while the tent-like drape of coats and jackets were elegant on clients without perfect bodies. His fabrics had to stand up to his almost Cubist vocabulary of shapes, and he loved robust wools with texture, silk gazar for evening, corduroy (surprising in its inclusion in the couture), and textured silks.
In Balenciaga’s heyday, the stylish women he dressed–from Doris Duke to Mona von Bismarck–often said he gave them noble posture.
Régine, Paris: a Balenciaga suit