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Cristóbal Balenciaga: Collectionneur de Mode (Cristóbal Balenciaga: Fashion Collector)

Start Date 13 April 2012
End Date 28 October 2012
Venue Musée Galliera at Les Docks
Location Paris, France
Curator Olivier Saillard
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins in case with open drawers beneath

Cristöbal Balenciaga, collector of fashions

13 April — 7 October 2012

The Galliera Museum’s extra-mural programme continues at Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design with two concurrently running exhibitions: one on Rei Kawakubo and the other on Cristöbal Balenciaga.

As a tribute to the master of fashion (1895-1972) and to mark the fortieth anniversary of his death, Galliera, with the support of the Maison Balenciaga, unveils a fashion collection assembled with passion by the couturier and generously donated to the museum by his family.

Stays and casaquins, satin torero costumes, velvet boleros, capes and mantelets, bustle dresses, cashmere stoles, lace mantillas, samples of embroidery and trimming, etc. All these items, many lavish, some plain, figure in jumbled profusion in this collection spanning the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

More than seventy costumes and items of clothing are displayed alongside some forty haute couture coats and dresses designed by Balenciaga from 1937 to 1968, taken from the Galliera’s collections or on loan from Maison Balenciaga. Accessories, photographs and sketches as well as books on art and costumes complete this exhibit which testifies in equal measure to the designer’s passion for history and his consummate skill at a trade first learnt at his mother’s knee.

The scenography, displays these treasures of inspiration and of high archive value set in the reserve collection of a fashion museum with long rows of metal movable shelving. For the visitor, this is an invitation to enter Cristöbal Balenciaga’s museum of the imagination: the traditional Spain of folklore, the black and the dark colours, the strict religious and ceremonial robes, the great masters of Spanish painting, and to share the creative intimacy of the “Couturier of couturiers”.

There is a publication to accompany this exhibition.

Curator : Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Museum.

Exhibition produced with the support of Balenciaga.

Practical information

Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design : 34 quai d’AusterIitz

75013 Paris

Tel. : 01 76 77 25 30

Open Tuesday to Sunday from

1 Oam to 6pm except public holidays.

Group entrance ticket for both exhibitions :

Full price: €6

Reduced price: €4.5

Youth price

Free for under 14s

Access :

Metro : Gare d’Austerlitz, Quai de la Gare, Gare de Lyon Bus : 24, 57, 61, 63, 89, 91

Press contact : Anne de Nesle assistée de Caroline Chenu Tel. : 01 56 52 86 08

Email :

For further information on Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design : Guillaume Chaillet / Pressing

Tel. : 01 42 01 51 00

Email :

Press Release

Images Courtesy of Palais Galliera © Pierre Antoine.