Balenciaga, L'oeuvre Au Noir
28 June 2017
Earlier this month we were in Paris to soak up the latest cultural offerings in this chicest of capitals. Balenciaga, l'oeuvre au noir was top of our list. Charting his masterful creations, this exhibition resonates with the black tones of an alchemist of haute couture. Balenciaga’s work sets up a powerful, black-on-white dialogue alongside the plaster casts and sculptures of Antoine Bourdelle. Incredibly tailored dresses and accessories are displayed within Bourdelle’s studios and throughout the museum of this early twentieth-century sculptor.
Black was Balenciaga’s inspiration: the spiritual underpinnings of his work were the folklore and traditions of his Spanish childhood. Black was the ascetic taste of this extraordinarily skilful tailor who gave us: the barrel line (1947), the balloon (1950), the semi-fitted (1951), the tunic dress (1955), and, of course, the sack dress (1957). Black was the monastic influence on the master, of whom Dior once said: ‘Clothes were his religion’.
For Balenciaga, black was more than a colour or even a non-colour; he saw it as a vibrant matter, by turns opaque or transparent, matt or shiny – a dazzling interplay of light, which owes as much to the luxurious quality of the fabrics as to the apparent simplicity of his cut.
This exhibition gives you a wonderful opportunity to get up close to some of the couturier's most iconic silhouettes, to marvel at the skill and excecution of how he could make clothing a wearable art form. And if that wasn't enough it's set amongst the beautiful backdrop of Bourdelle's creations. Not to be missed!
On until 16th July 2017, Musée Bourdelle 18, rue Antoine Bourdelle 75015 Paris.