The V&A has announced its next major fashion exhibition and we cannot wait

Posted by
Harriet Hall

The Victoria and Albert museum has announced that it will stage a major exhibition showcasing the work of Spanish courturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga, in 2017.

The exhibition will be the first in the UK dedicated to the iconic designer, who is considered one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. It is timed to mark the centenary of his first fashion house in San Sebastien, Spain, as well as 80 years since he opened his famous Paris salon in 1937.


Silk taffeta evening dress, designed by Cristobal Balenciaga, 1954

Entitled Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, the retrospective will display around 100 garments and 20 hats designed by Balenciaga himself, as well as those designed by his successors at the design house. The display will also include fabric samples, toiles and films which will provide visitors with an insight into the craftsmanship behind the designs. Many of the pieces have never been seen by the public before.

Known for his technical skills and innovative bubble-shaped silhouettes of the late 1950s and 1960s, Balenciaga’s designs were considered ultra-modern yet feminine and were revered by many.


Embroidered wild silk evening dress, designed by Cristobal Balenciaga, 1962

The exhibition comes just as the fashion house is under the radical new creative directorship of Vetements head designer, Demma Gvasalia, whose recent collection focused on the use of Spandex and latex.

Past Balenciaga creative directors include sportswear designer, Alexander Wang, who was at the house for three years and current Louis Vuitton CD, Nicolas Ghesquière.


Evening ensemble, designed by Cristobal Balenciaga, 1967

The display follows the previous Alexander McQueen display, Savage Beauty, which is the museum’s most-visited exhibition ever.

'Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion' will take place at the V&A museum from May 27, 2017 to February 18, 2018