It was in the year 1914 when a Spanish Cristobal Balenciaga first opened a boutique in San Sebastian, Spain offering an original line of clothing catering mainly to the prominent and affluent members of the Spanish society. His initial success later prompted him to expand his store outlets in Madrid and Barcelona. His designs made such a huge hit, that his frequent clients turned out to be the members of the royal family in Spain and some of the well—known aristocrats of that time. However, just when his business was about to become a full-pledged sensation, the Spanish Civil War erupted, which forced him to close all his stores. This was far from being the end of his fashion prowess, since he later decided to relocate to Paris, which is of course the fashion Mecca of the world.
In Paris, the Balenciaga Women clothing line started to create quite a stir when he opened his shop in Avenue George V back in 1937. His very first foray at the runways featured wonderfully creative designs that were heavily influenced by Spanish Renaissance. Quite predictably, the Balenciaga Women collection was met with immediate and phenomenal success. In a little over two years in Paris, Balenciaga was rightfully lauded by the French Press as regarded him as a revolutionary. Such raving reviews of course reflected well in his sales as his designs were among the most sought after pieces by both rich and famous personalities. At that time, even the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Carmel Snow turned out to be a staunch champion of his designs, which were marvelously regarded as simply a work of a creative genius.
Balenciaga’s Rise to Fame
The news spread like wildfire in the rest of Europe, and there were even some customers who dared to risk their safety just to browse through the Balenciaga Women’s clothing during the height of the World War II. Among the very first popular pieces were the square coats that features cut sleeved formed in a single yoke, with all his designs were made available in blacks and browns, with bright pink laces as accents to the stark cloth. Needless to say, the Balenciaga coats were sold at fast as hotcakes and a lot of people kept clamoring up for more.While one might think the world-renowned designer Balenciaga was at the very height of his career, it was actually not until the war was about to end that his true ingenuity as a highly original artist became evident. After the war, he offered clothes with design lines that were considerably sleeker and more linear, wandering away from the stiff hourglass shape clothes that were popularized by Christian Dior at that time. With such unerring fluidity of his silhouettes, he was able to expertly manipulate the designs of his clothing to the bodies of women. He later designed tunic dresses that later evolved to what we all now know as chemise. His other significant contributions to the world of fashion were the spherical ballooned jackets, the empire cut baby doll dresses, the balloon skirts, the sack dress and the cocoon coats. His adroit manipulations of the clothes waistlines later turned out to be his most significant contribution to the fashion industry: a daring play with the women’s silhouette.
Today, Balenciaga is now fully owned by Gucci with Nicolas Ghesquiere as the creative helm. Staying true to the path set by its legendary founder, the brand have been known to be among Hollywood celerity stars favorite. In fact, the wedding gown that was worn by Nicole Kidman carries the Balenciaga label. Jennifer Connelly and Kylie Minogue are just a few of the loyal patrons of the brand.
So if you want to invest on a swanky dress for a special event, why not browse through the newest Balenciaga collection? Who knows, you might just find one that will best show off your body to perfection.