Noble Bearing

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.


Irving Penn
Régine, Paris: a Balenciaga suit




~ by eaesthete on 11/21/09.

5 Responses to “Noble Bearing”

  1. Instead of revealing all or having women struggle to fit a fashion canon, Balenciaga shows another way of loving the human body.

  2. Balenciaga, truly one of the greats. A man who could create a garment to make a woman look and feel beautiful.

  3. Intriguing composition – restrained and unnatural – the model’s facial expression is the ice-breaker.

    As always you elevate the original in original.

  4. There is something to be said of taste that inspire as seen through the eyes of one with a cultivated eye, unfortunately I’m not the one best able to say it but I’ll say this. You my dear have an eye for the divine. I will follow with interest and appreciation.

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