Incredible Couturiers BalenciagaJanuary 5, 2015
The French fashion house of Balenciaga was founded by Cristobal Balenciaga, a Spaniard from the Basque region of Spain. Christian Dior held him in such high esteem he referred to him as “the master of us all,” for Dior to utter those words, we can rightly assume that Balenciaga was a genius in the fashion world.
Balenciaga and Alexander Wang
His feminine, modern styles have been successful all over the world and although the handsome Spaniard died in 1972, he left his legacy of haute couture behind and is still going strong. The house of Balenciaga is now owned by the French company, Kering. Its creative director is Alexander Wang.
Balenciaga would open his first boutique in 1918 in his home country and would go on to have branches in both Barcelona and Madrid. Royalty as well as other influential characters would wear his designs.
Balenciaga left Spain and moved to Paris following the break out of the Spanish Civil War, and would be just as successful here in France as he had been in Spain.Although highly dangerous, customers would travel from all over the world during the outbreak of World War II to wear his gorgeous costumes.
Post war success
Balenciaga went on to be even more successful following the war – matching a woman’s body to the clothes perfectly.
He was the first to come up with the chemise dress, which had been formerly known as the tunic. After that, in the fifties, came the balloon jacket and skirt, high waisted dresses, the sack dress, cocoon coat and the empire line. The empire line consisted of kimono shaped coats and the high waisted dresses. He felt he had created a brand new silhouette for women – and he had.
Proteges, royalty and politicians wives
He would experiment with fabrics throughout the sixties creating beautiful shapes using a variety of different fabrics that never failed to surprise and engage his audience. His clothes were born by both Queen Fabiola of Belgium (wedding dress) and Jackie Kennedy. His proteges included Osca de la Renta and Givenchy.
Balenciaga closed his fashion house in 1968, he died in 1972 and the house was reopened in 1986.
Alexander Wang was already a successful designer before joining Balenciaga. He launched his own label in 2005, and in 2007 would go on to launch his own ready to wear collection for women, which was extraordinarily successful.
In 2012 Wang was named Creative Director of Balenciaga following the departure of Nicolas Ghesquiere. He would oversees both the men’s and women’s ready to wear collections and the accessory lines. In the following year in early Spring 2013, Wang debuted his first collection for Balenciaga in Paris.
Wang has also gone on to design for H&M as other great designers have before him,his collection came on to the market in November this year (2014).
The H&M collection is strong, with thick fabric, greys, charcoal,black and coloured piping, it’s an androgynous look, with dresses that fit the body like a glove, with clothes that have an almost amphibious and sporty look, both masculine and strong.
If you’re an Alexander Wang fan then one can only assume you’ll be heading down to H&M very soon….