Cristobal Balenciaga: Collectionneur des Modes & Comme des Garçons: White Drama

April 18, 2012By Madeleine CziglerShopping

Balenciaga meets Kawakubo

Paris Update balenciaga comme des garcons
Left: flower-covered dress. © Jean-François José / Comme des Garçons. Right: 1967 dress by Balenciaga.

Paris’s brand-new fashion showcase, Les Docks-Cite de la Mode et de Design (34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris), is hosting two exciting new exhibitions: “Cristobal Balenciaga: Collectionneur des Modes” and “Comme des Garçons: White Drama,” presented in conjunction with the Musée Galliera, which is currently closed for renovation.

Balenciaga, the couturier’s couturier, who died 40 years ago in Paris, was an avid collector of 19th-century court and folk costumes from his native Spain. This exhibition, curated by the Galliera’s Olivier Saillard, casts light on the roots of the master’s inspirations and how they influenced his innovative designs.

Sixty-four costumes, partnered with about 40 of his own haute couture dresses and coats dating from between 1937 and 1968, offer a feast of timeless classicism.

Next door, Rei Kawakubo, the visionary Comme des Garçons designer, presents her latest über-romantic spring-summer 2012 fashion show. This is installation art, designed by the lady herself.

The monochrome “White Drama” models show off exquisitely crafted fashion showmanship and dramatize life’s big events: birth, marriage, death and transcendence. Through October 7.


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