The best costume museum in the world – Balenciaga Museoa

SAM_5817Ok, I might be overstating this somewhat, but I was completely blown away on a recent visit to the Cristóbal Balenciaga museum in Spain. I ended up spending 2.5 hours in there.

SAM_5796

Inside the foyer

The museum is in Getaria, Balenciaga’s home town. I didn’t know this place existed until after I’d booked my holiday, so it was a lovely surprise. What more could I want from a holiday – sandy beaches, mountains of tapas and a museum on one of the most influential couturiers of the 20th century!

SAM_5808

SAM_5821

The collection is vast and displayed over 3 floors in a modern purpose built museum. It details Balenciaga’s early work as a dressmaker to European aristocracy to his haute couture label in Paris. Balenciaga is known for prints, embroidery and fluid lines that caressed rather than constrained the body. He created the tunic and sack dress silhouettes and pioneered new fabrics such as gazar which gave structure to his increasingly sculptural creations.

SAM_5812

SAM_5826

Dresses made from gazar

Some of his designs were so ahead of their time you could wear them now and no one would guess it was vintage. I think the column dresses below look really contemporary. There’s a hilarious film in the museum of a model wearing one of his sack dresses in the fifties walking down the street being gawped at in disbelief by an old lady.

SAM_5818

SAM_5802

My favourite room was the one which displayed the hallmarks which characterised his designs. What I found particularly fascinating as a sewist were the interactive displays which showed the individual pattern pieces and how they came together to form the garment in front of you. Some displays also rotated, so you could see them from all angles.

SAM_5852

SAM_5855

SAM_5856

SAM_5816

The museum what one of my holiday highlights and definitely worth a visit for anyone with an interest in costume.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in couture, museums, sewing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The best costume museum in the world – Balenciaga Museoa

  1. eliseandlife1 says:

    Oh my gawd I would be all over that. What an amazing looking place, such a lucky find! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s