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The 20th century was characterized by transcendental moments that would change our mentality and lifestyle. Full of situations that represented a challenge for society, which had to develop an adaptive capacity, unprecedented to date.

As far as fashion’s concerned, it was a century of great moments. The figures of the designer and the haute couture houses were consolidated, which tried to adapt their creations to the functionality required by the time.

For women, the 20th century was fundamental; since she was the great protagonist of the changes that little by little made advances in favor of the feminine emancipation. The release of the corset marked a before and after in the women’s clothing, who came to play an increasingly participatory role in society.

It is impossible to talk about fashion without mentioning Cristóbal Balenciaga, originally from Guetaria, Guipúzcoa. This great teacher was part of the great generation of haute couture designers and led the industry for his creativity, technique and professionalism. Not only did it lay the foundations of contemporary fashion making advanced designs for its time, but also developed patronage techniques that are still in force today.

Celebrating in 2017, 80 years of the creation of the House of Haute Couture Balenciaga, 100 of the opening of its first workshop in San Sebastián; and in the framework of the ARCO Art Fair and the Fashion Week, at We Crave we decided to remember this great Spanish designer, making an exhibition where we will show the Legacy of Balenciaga from three perspectives: illustration, architecture and, of course, fashion.

To achieve this we will start from the Balenciaga vision expressed below

"A good couturier should be an architect of form, a painter for colour,

musician for harmony and philosopher for the measure "

Illustration and the Balenciaga Woman; undoubtedly the exclusivity of the designer's clientele, were part of its success. It was characterised by women of great elegance and sophistication, where the good looking physic did not play a fundamental role.

"A woman does not have to be perfect or beautiful to wear my clothes; the dress will make her beautiful. "

Cristobal Balenciaga.

We want to know the vision of the fashion illustrators, to know how they perceive these women and how they can express the style that characterised them, through various techniques.

Architecture and Balenciaga. He was considered an architect in his area, for his use of the forms and for the development of volumes unimaginable for his time. The structure of their pieces and the complexity of their patterns have set a precedent in today's clothing.

We want to perform an analysis of his work from an architectural perspective, so we invite various architects to perform a geometric and volumetric analysis of his work.

Cristóbal’s Legacy in Contemporary Fashion. Balenciaga is characterised by the development of impeccable Patronage, simplified the pieces as much as possible, releasing them from unnecessary tweezers and cuts; developing styles that continue today more than ever, being able to be appreciated in the work of innumerable designers of the present time. For this reason we have invited designers from different sectors to demonstrate how the style and technique of Balenciaga have left a mark on them.

It did not take the passage of time to know that Cristóbal Balenciaga, a teacher, knew how to combine different disciplines and adapt them to their needs, in order to obtain the desired result in fashion.

DECODÉ, Cristóbal Balenciaga will offer a perspective of the designer from each of these areas, providing a deeper analysis of his legacy. We are convinced that illustrators, architects and designers have the sensitivity to reinterpret the result of his work and make proposals that combine the legacy of the master with the world today.

The exhibition will take place at We Crave located at number 12 of Conde de Xiquena, until April 5, 2017.


Thanks to
Marcelo Vila
IED Madrid