Author(s): Lesley Ellis Miller
More than four decades after his death, the enigmatic Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972) has become a legendary figure in the history of twentieth-century fashion. His name is a byword for clothes executed to the highest standards and characterized by their sculptural quality, deft manipulation of textiles and dramatic use of colour and texture. His impact on later generations of fashion designers - in couture and on the high street - is now widely recognized, and the house that bears his name has become a global brand. In this revised, updated and expanded edition, pieces from the V&A collections have been carefully selected to provide new cases studies, revealing the master's exacting methods in garment design and some of the wealthy and glamorous clients who patronised his establishment, from Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor to Gloria Guinness and Pauline de Rothschild. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion offers a thorough examination of the couturier's fashion philosophy, design and business practices, as well as placing him firmly in the context of his time, and concludes with an examination of his lasting legacy.
Lesley Ellis Miller is acting Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V&A. She oversaw the new Europe 1600-1815 galleries at the Museum, and has published widely on the eighteenth-century French silk industry.
Contents; Author's Note; Chapter One - A Spaniard in Paris; In Focus - Between Art and Reality: Chaqeutillas, Mantones and Mantillas; Chapter Two - From Cloth to Collections; In Focus - Crafting Couture: Materials, Techniques and Tools; Chapter Three - Commercial Couture; In Focus - Hidden Assets: Vendeuses, Fashion Editors and Mannequins; Chapter Four - Clients and Clothes; In Focus - Fashion Leaders: Socialite, Bluestocking and Actress; Chapter Five - Legacies; In Focus - Heirs and Followers: Disciple, Apprentice and Successor; Notes; Select Bibliography; Chronology; Glossary' Appendix: Balenciaga's Suppliers; Index; Acknowledgements and Picture Credits