Cristóbal Balenciaga. Fashion and Heritage: Contexts
This is the starting point of the curatorial series ‘Cristóbal Balenciaga. Fashion and Heritage’, when Balenciaga’s creations no longer circulate the streets and salons but begin to inhabit archives, galleries and museums. They stop serving as embellishments for bodies but are admired for their beauty. They take their leave from fashion magazine covers to appear instead on the covers of art magazines, and lose their exclusivity to become accessible to audiences from all social circles.
In 2018, the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum launched this curatorial series to explore the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga through a chronological and evolutionary discourse and to highlight the process through which apparently simple items of clothing became a museum collection.
‘Conversations’, the subtitle of the first exhibition, referred to the links between the object on display and the relevant visual and research models, those layers of interpretation which are properties of the object itself and confer on it the status of heritage.
This new exhibition, ‘Contexts’, takes us in search of the common ground that history and fashion share, the spaces behind the curtain —where everything actually takes place– and the formal parallels between the haute couture of those days and the museum work of today. The exhibition discourse and the selection of pieces that accompany it, as well as the spatial conceptualisation and its design, are the result of collaboration between the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum team and the renowned fashion curator Judith Clark, and are a continuation of the work undertaken in 2018 for the beginning of this series.
Imagery courtesy of Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum