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Rachel L Mellon Collection

Start Date 27 May 2017
End Date 28 January 2018
Venue Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa 
Location Getaria, Spain
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins with one seated in chair
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins
Exhibition display of small trees in pots in front of a shuttered window installation

The Rachel L. Mellon Collection exhibition, under the direction of Hubert de Givenchy, presents to the public a careful selection of this collection and offers a new reading of Balenciaga Haute Couture, through the personal filter of this extraordinary lady. 

Rachel Lambert Mellon (1910–2014), known as Bunny, was one of the great ladies of twentieth-century American high society. Heir to a great fortune, philanthropist, art collector, garden designer – including the famous Rose Garden of the White House -, personal friend of the Kennedys and wife of banking magnate and distinguished patron Paul Mellon. Mrs. Mellon was the archetype of Balenciaga’s clientele: wealthy, sensitive, and exclusive. 

In his extraordinary life, his permanent search for beauty stands out, which he collected and which he surrounded himself with. I recognized it in an eclectic way in works of art, rare books, jewelry, precious objects, gardens, well-kept environments; and in her own wardrobe, which she entrusted to Balenciaga for more than a decade.

In addition to being a great client, Bunny Mellon was also a personal friend of the couturier, a relationship that was reflected in the adaptations and special designs that were made for her at the House, and that Balenciaga himself transferred, upon retirement, to Hubert de Givenchy.

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa currently guards a large part of the creations that Balenciaga made for Mrs. Mellon, whose legacy is the most important collection from the same benefactress in the museum’s archives.

Exhibition Guide

Exhibition Brochure

Images courtesy of Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa.