Shaping Fashion: Balenciaga Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of my favourite places to visit. They have an amazing array of different artefacts stretching back hundreds of years. But I particularly love their focus on fashion and textiles through time. This Summer, they have a really beautiful exhibition of Balenciaga’s work, showcasing his skill and his influence.


Cristobal Balenciaga was a hugely influential Spanish designer, whose fashion house is still a major player today, and whose groundbreaking designs and playing with shape have influenced designers for generations. Active from 1917 all the way through to the 70’s, his work takes on suiting and more vintage shapes, to wildly different designs.


The influence of his Spanish heritage can be seen in the designs influenced by bullfighters costumes, though he wasn’t a fan of the sport itself.


The beautiful entrance to the V&A, which is free to enter and look around, though this exhibition has a £12 ticket fee. They have loads more fashion and textiles, and their books are well worth exploring if you love fashion history.


The exhibition has many of Balenciaga’s fashion illustrations, which are truly beautiful. Often they’re alongside the items as completed.


Some of my favourite items in the exhibition have more tailored shapes and vintage feel, but the attention to detail as well as the incredible fabrics are so beautiful. Incredibly flattering designs.


Me, caught taking pictures of these incredible gowns, lacework and beading, as well as embroidery are employed by Balenciaga with excellent taste.


These shoes come from the wardrobe of a past Balenciaga devotee whose items were generously lent for the showing. She had individual pairs of shoes made to match each dress or outfit she owned.

Quotes about the influence of the designer abound, both his own and those of designers like Christian Dior, some of which made me laugh in their emphatic praise of Cristobal. But he really was hugely influential.

His designs often played with shape and proportion, particularly during the 60’s and into the 70’s. Here you can see the defined waist is still present, but the skirt balloons. The exhibition has a wonderful focus on the design, with x-rays of the dresses featured, as seen in the background, so you can really see the construction elements.

Me, V&A selfie!

Balengiaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition will be at the V&A until the 18th Feb 2018, with tickets at £12.00. Entry to the V&A itself is free, the nearest tube station is South Kensington. You can find out more, see highlights and pre-purchase tickets HERE. I highly recommend it if you’re a fashion lover, it’s so inspiring and a bit decadent, too. I loved the way all the angles of the designers work were covered, from illustrations to accessories as well as his influence on later designers and his contemporaries. An absolute delight.

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20 thoughts on “Shaping Fashion: Balenciaga Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum

  1. Hello ! I love When the fashion is in museums. I wanted to make post about the house Dior to Granville in France, but it rained and this house is magnificent with a amazingt garden, and a sea view. And the dresses which are exposed are “sublimes”. Your post is very well. I love it !

    Liked by 1 person

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