DALLAS. Cristobal Balenciaga “Balenciaga, l’oeuvre au noir” 7 october 2018 – 6 january 2019. Kimbell Art Museum.

The exhibition resonates with the black tones of an alchemist of haute couture : variations of black repeated in over a hundred of pieces from the Galliera collections and the archives of Maison Balenciaga.

Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895 – 1972), the most “Couture” of Couturiers. The exhibition resounds with a black harmony of an Haute Couture alchemist. Black motivated Balenciaga : the backbone of his work was inspired by the folklore and traditions of his Spanish childhood. Black was this exceptionally skilled tailor’s preference. Black was a monastic influence on the master, about whom Dior once said: “Clothes were his religion”. Balenciaga saw black as a vibrant matter whether it be opaque or transparent, matt or shiny – a dazzling interplay of light, that owes as much to the luxurious quality of the fabrics as to the apparent simplicity of the cut. Every piece is magnificent, from day clothes to cocktail dresses and sumptuous evening outfits lined in silk taffeta, edged with fringes, decorated with satin ribbons, jet beads, sequins… more than hundred couture variations of black are the treasures of the Galliera collections and the Maison Balenciaga’s archives. Curator : Véronique Belloir

Kimbell Art Museum 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX


Image: Balenciaga, Black crepe dress, 1964 (back view). Collection Palais Galliera – © E. Emo et A. Llaurency / Galliera / Roger-Viollet