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Balenciaga Comes To Bendigo!

Art

After the 2017 success of the exhibition Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Bendigo Art Gallery is exclusively bringing the incredible work of the iconic Spanish fashion designer to Australian shores!

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion features design crafted in the 50s and 60s during the height of Balenciaga’s creative period, and tells the story of his influence and enduring legacy. If you’ve ever worn a baby-doll or sack dress, it’s thanks to the elusive and innovative Cristóbal Balenciaga!

20th August, 2019

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion on now at Bendigo Art Gallery. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The exhibition comes direct to Bendigo in an Australian exclusive from London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Jessica Bridgfoot, Director of Bendigo Art Gallery. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion presents the best of Balenciaga. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The exterior of Bendigo Art Gallery. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘Whilst Balenciaga created magnificent ball gowns and tailored suits, he also revolutionised the female silhouette through an abandonment of the waistline’, explains Jessica Bridgfoot, Director of Bendigo Art Gallery. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Classic silhouettes from the revolutionary Spanish designer. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The exhibition has a particular focus on iconic garments from the 50s and 60s. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The impressive exhibition space at Bendigo Art Gallery. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Bold Balenciaga styles. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Cristóbal Balenciaga was known to challenge fashion conventions. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A preview of the exhibiton. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The revolutionary exhibition offers visitors an up-close look at some of the most incredible garments in fashion history. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

THAT pink ruffle situation! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Balenciaga through the ages. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Miriam McGarry
Tuesday 20th August 2019

‘Whilst Balenciaga created magnificent ball gowns and tailored suits, he also revolutionised the female silhouette through an abandonment of the waistline.’ – Jessica Bridgfoot, Director of Bendigo Art Gallery.

Bendigo Art Gallery is no stranger to international fashion and design exhibitions. After hosting the incredible Marimekko exhibition last year, the gallery has now partnered with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to bring the work of revolutionary Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga exclusively to Australia, for the exhibition Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion.

Director Jessica Bridgfoot explains that the conversation with the V&A started two years ago, with the London and Bendigo galleries working together closely to build a successful collaborative relationship. The resulting exhibition brings Balenciaga to Bendigo in spectacular glory, showing the Spanish designer’s ‘incredible innovation, his colossal influence and the enduring legacy on fashion as we know it today’ Jessica explains.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion presents the best of Balenciaga, with a particular focus on iconic garments from the 50s and 60s. In addition to highlighting his revolutionary designs of the sack dress (who knew!), and baby doll, the exhibition features sketches, patterns, photographs, fabric samples and catwalks designs. See fabric bloom in the Tulip Dress, and a dramatic statement in the opulent Opera Coat.

Jessica highlights that the robust exhibition is ‘almost two exhibitions in one.’ The show traces the ongoing legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga, whose work influenced both minimalist and wildly experimental designers including Issey Miyake, Iris van Herpen, Emanuel Ungaro, and Demna Gvsalia (current designer House of Balenciaga). The immersive exhibition captures the surreal and eccentric elements of Balenciaga’s designs, and reveals a little of his famously elusive personality.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion also demonstrates the designer’s challenge to fashion conventions, and positive ideas about the many ways female beauty should be expressed and felt. Jessica explains ‘whilst Balenciaga created magnificent ball gowns and tailored suits, he also revolutionised the female silhouette through an abandonment of the waistline.’ For anyone who enjoys a loose shift dress, or swishing tunic silhouette – you’ve got Cristóbal to thank!

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
Exhibition organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Exclusive to Bendigo Art Gallery in Australia
August 17th – November 10th
Bendigo Art Gallery
42 View Street
Bendigo, Melbourne

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net