End: 16 Jul 2017
Location: Musée Bourdelle
Address: Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris, France
The Palais Galliera is paying homage to the couturier Cristobal Balenciaga (1865-1972) with an extra-mural exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle entitled "Balenciaga, l'oeuvre au noir."
The exhibition will celebrate the variations of black repeated in over a hundred of pieces from the Galliera collections and the archives of Maison Balenciaga, and is divided along three main themes — Silhouette & Volumes, Black & Light, and Blacks & Colours.
Coco Chanel once described the couturier "Only he is capable of cutting a fabric, to assemble it, to sew it by hand; the others are mere designers," whilst Christian Dior added, "Clothes were his religion."
Kicking off the Palais Galliera's Spanish season, which will continue with 'Costumes espagnols entre ombre et lumière' (Spanish costumes from dark to bright) at the Maison Victor Hugo (21 June - 24 September 2017) and will finish with Mariano Fortuny at the Palais Galliera (4 October 2017 - 7 January 2018).
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.
As the museum explains:
"A lace highlight, embroidery, guipure, a heavy drape of silk velvet and, hey presto, you have a skirt, a bolero, a mantilla, a cape reinvented as a coat, a coat tailored as a cape... 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."