The Balenciaga exhibition in Bendigo is something of a must for anyone who loves fashion. Balenciaga shaping Fashion. Whether you’re a designer or a just a fashion appreciator, this collection of beautiful garments from the master of fashion will have you in awe. The Exhibition is organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and is exclusive to Bendigo Art Gallery in Australia. It’s approximately a two-hour road-trip from Melbourne so put aside a whole day and make the most of your trip by enjoying some other sights which Bendigo has to offer as well. We finished off our visit with having a late lunch and drinks at a lovely local restaurant.
Renowned couturier Cristóbel Balenciaga’s designs still have a huge influence on the designs we see today. The greats such as Christian Dior and Coco Chanel referred to him as ‘The Master’. Balenciaga revolutionised the female silhouette with the use of sculptural designs and rich colours and textures. His garments are exquisitely crafted are skilfully manipulated into dramatic shapes. Contemporary designers have continued using his innovative techniques in their designs to this day.
Fashion Inspiration – Balenciaga shaping Fashion
Walking through the exhibition, I took time to admire all the workmanship that went into constructing each garment. There was so much inspiration to be drawn from these designs. It’s truly is amazing to see how much his work has influenced the designs of today. You can clearly see that some of my favourite Australian designers such as Alex Perry, Mary Katrantzou and Toni Maticevski’s designs are heavily influenced by Balenciaga’s silhouettes. Needless to say, these designers have a great fan base because of their bold, well-constructed garments.
The Balenciaga exhibition showcases over 100 garments and some hats from the couturier from the 1950s and 1960s, arguably his most creative period. You will see sketches, photographs and fabric samples sitting alongside his most iconic garments. A collaboration between the London College of Fashion and X-ray artist, Nick Veasey, shows the hidden details which make Balenciaga’s work so brilliant. This includes hidden weights in some hemlines to keep them weighed down and in place. Some of these x-rays are on display there as well. On display are also works from other designers who continue to use Balenciaga’s techniques in their own designs.
Luxury Fashion – Classic and well made
This year, voluminous sleeves and skirts are so in fashion all over again. It looks like fashionistas just can’t get enough of the great, classic shapes. There were pieces in the Balenciaga exhibition which I would happily wear out today and it wouldn’t be considered vintage at all! The iconic grey cape by Nicholas Ghesquière for Balenciaga (2006) is a stand-out favourite of mine. The entire way it has been styled for their editorial photo is something I’d wear to the next Melbourne Cup Carnival in a heartbeat!
With fast fashion creating so much waste at the moment, this visit to Balenciaga just reinforces my belief in moving towards better fashion purchases. Buy classic, well-made styles which will stand the test of time and will be something you enjoy wearing for many seasons. It may cost more but it’s better than buying something which you want to throw out after one season.
Grab your fashionable friends and take a road-trip to see the Balenciaga exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery before it leaves on the 10th of November.