As Style.com noted in their review of Balenciaga’s Fall 2011 showing in March, “Ghesquire closed with a pair of coats inspired by an archival Cristobal piece from 1965. Each one was made from a simple, rectangular piece of fabric. Elegant and effortless, this was realism trumping surrealism. That’s what will make this collection a resounding success.”
The 1965 coat is one of hundreds of deliriously beautiful pieces featured in “Balenciaga and Spain” by Hamish Bowles, published by Rizzoli in conjunction with the de Young Museum’s exhibit by the same name (running March 26 to July 4, 2011.)
The book is full of stunning images from the Balenciaga archives, museums, and fashion magazines of the 20th century. For those aren’t lucky enough to make it to the de Young, it is an absolute must-have.
Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, the exhibit’s guest curator, has been spending a lot of time in San Francisco in preparation for the opening, and was recent guest of honor for a luncheon hosted by Neiman Marcus. With Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue, and Diane B. Wilsey, Neiman’s is lead sponsor for the exhibit (the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums and Christine Suppes are the Major Patrons, with Google and Boutiques.com as Presenting Sponsors.)
San Francisco has become one of Balenciaga’s most important cities. A recent trunk show saw the house’s Edition pieces (inspired by archival Balenciaga designs) selling swiftly because of the exhibition, according to Vogue.