Tag Archives: Fashion

Closing Soon: Balenciaga and Spanish Painting, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, until 22 September 2019

Francisco de Zurbarán
Saint Casilda, ca. 1635
Oil on canvas. 171 x 107 cm
© Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The Spanish fashion designer’s approach to his designs was informed by his lifelong love of art sparked by his youthful admiration of the paintings owned by clients of his seamstress mother, in particular the Marquis and Marchioness of Casa Torres, who spent their summers in the Palacio Aldamar (also known as Vista Ona) in Getaría. Three of the paintings on display in this exhibition, and loaned by the Prado, were in that collection: Head of an Apostle by Velázquez; Saint Sebastian by El Greco; and Cardinal Luis María de Borbón y Vallabriga by Goya. The latter establishes a dialogue with a magnificent red dress suit with a short jacket loaned from the Museo del Traje in Madrid. Balenciaga frequently drew on the heritage of his Spanish homeland, going further than adding flamenco ruffles to his dresses and seeking inspiration by re-imagining bull fighters’ jackets. The exhibition explores the influence of four centuries of Spanish painting on the couturier’s work. Zurbarán was one inspiration, his drapery influencing Balenciaga’s bold sashes. In 1939 Velázquez’s portraits of the Infanta Magarita were reinterpreted by the dress designer’s work. Also notable is the interaction between a spectacular blue silk evening gown and cape and the mantle of the same colour seen in The Immaculate Conception by Murillo from the Arango collection. The curator Eloy Martínez de la Pera, has drawn together some 90 examples of Balenciaga’s work alongside 55 paintings, including works by El Greco, Murillo, Goya and the nineteenth-century artist Antonio María Esquivel. Paintings have been lent by the Prado, Bilbao, Seville and Valencia and costumes, some of which have never been displayed before and designs have been lent by the Balenciaga Museum in his hometown in Getaría, and archives in Paris. The exhibition also explores the impact of Philip II’s court making the use of black fashionable for clothing throughout Europe, and how Balenciaga chose to transform it in his own way. As the magazine Harper’s Bazaar wrote in 1938: “at the new Spanish house Balenciaga [in Paris] the black is so black that it hits you like a blow. Thick Spanish black, almost velvety, a night without stars, which makes the ordinary black seem almost grey.”

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Featured Exhibition: Balenciaga, Shaping Fashion, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, until 10 November 2019

A version of the V&A’s exhibition Balenciaga, Shaping Fashion is now showing at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, until 10 November 2019. The Spanish couturier, whose female dress and master tailoring was admired by Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, was one of the most innovative and influential fashion designers of the 20th century. The Australian exhibition shows highlights of the V&A’s display including garments crafted by Balenciaga from the 1950s and 1960s—arguably the most creative period of his career, when he dressed some of the most renowned women of the time—through to pieces designed by protégés and contemporary designers working in the same innovative way today. The exhibition features examples of Balenciaga’s revolutionary shapes—the tunic, sack, baby doll and shift dresses—all of which remain style staples today, and marks the centenary of the opening of Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian, and the 80th anniversary of the opening of his famous fashion house in Paris.

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Featured Exhibition: ‘Weavers of the Clouds. Textiles from Peru’, The Fashion and Textile Museum, London, until 8 Sep 2019

Weavers of the Clouds. Textiles from Peru, The Fashion and Textile Museum, 21 June – 8 Sep 2019, brings the captivating art and textiles of Peru to the UK, showcasing some of the world’s oldest and most colourful designs. The exhibition features rarely seen objects from private collections and national museums, including full costumes, tapestries, paintings, photographs, illustrations and accessories. It examines the vibrant applied crafts, heritage and traditions of Peru, celebrating the culture and customs of the artisan and their influence on design, fashion and beyond. Each geographical region is associated with a different technique or application; the exhibition will feature weaving from the Central Highlands, felting created in the North, floral embroidery produced in Ayacucho in the South West, knitwear originating in the Highlands and machine embroidery from the Colca Valley. Exhibition highlights include a 16th-century Quipu – knotted fibres used by the Incas as a form of communication – and a four cornered hat, dating from 600 AD. A rare pre-Hispanic tunic created in orange, yellow and blue macaw feathers is displayed alongside a sequined waistcoat emblazoned with birds and flowers and a Shipibo costume from the Amazon Rainforest, embroidered to reflect the astrological map. Tapestries and weaving from a private collection include a ceremonial tunic created using a Scaffold weave; one of the most unusual weaving techniques in the world, previously existing only in the Andean region of South America. Despite dating back to 800 AD, the influence of these techniques can be seen across hundreds of years; in particular in the works of Bauhaus designers Gunta Stölzl and Anni Albers. 

The costumes and textiles on display are complemented by a selection of varied and engaging photographs by Marta Tucci, Max Milligan and Sebastian Castaneda Vita. Also on display are postcards by influential photographer Martin Chambi. Chambi was one of the earliest known indigenous Latin American photographers, whose black and white postcards, featuring images of the indigenous people of Cuzco and their costumes, helped to disseminate knowledge of Peru in the 20th Century. Postcards were an important part of Chambi’s practice; a selection of examples, dating from the 1930s, are being presented in re-creation of his iconic studio.

The Fashion and Textile Museum is a contemporary fashion museum in Bermondsey, London. Founded by British designer Zandra Rhodes in 2003, the museum is part of the Newham College of Further Education, and is open Tuesday-Sunday.

Opens Today: Balenciaga and Spanish Painting, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, until 22 September 2019

Francisco de Zurbarán
Saint Casilda, ca. 1635
Oil on canvas. 171 x 107 cm
© Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

In the summer of 2019 the museum is presenting an exhibition that connects the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga, the most admired and influential fashion designer of all time, with the tradition of 16th– to 20th-century Spanish painting.

References to Spanish art and culture are a recurring presence in Balenciaga’s work. The simple, minimalist lines of religious habits or the architectural volume of their cloth are to be found in many of his designs. The billowing train of a flamenco dancer’s dress echoed in the flounces on some dresses, the glinting reflections on a bullfighter’s suit, brilliantly conveyed in the sequin embroidery on a bolero jacket, and the aesthetic of Habsburg court dress echoed in black velvets embellished with jet trim in some creations are just a few examples. Balenciaga constantly studied the history of art and made use of these influences, expressed through his own powerful and unique style, throughout his career, including his most avant-garde period, reviving historic garments and reinterpreting them in a strikingly modern manner.

The exhibition, curated by Eloy Martínez de la Pera, will include a carefully-selected group of paintings loaned from private Spanish collections and public museums, including the Museo Nacional del Prado and the museums of Fine Arts of Seville, Valencia and Bilbao. They will be accompanied by a group of important creations by Balenciaga, some of them never previously exhibited, loaned from national and international museums including the Museo Balenciaga in Guetaria, the Museo del Traje in Madrid and other international institutions and private collections.

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Opens Today: Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, until 12 May 2019

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Nickolas Muray (American, born Hungary, 1892–1965). Frida in New York, 1946; printed 2006. Carbon pigment print, image: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, 2010.80. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s unique and immediately recognizable style was an integral part of her identity. Kahlo came to define herself through her ethnicity, disability, and politics, all of which were at the heart of her work. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is the largest U.S. exhibition in ten years devoted to the iconic painter and the first in the United States to display a collection of her clothing and other personal possessions, which were rediscovered and inventoried in 2004 after being locked away since Kahlo’s death, in 1954. They are displayed alongside important paintings, drawings, and photographs from the celebrated Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art, as well as related historical film and ephemera. To highlight the collecting interests of Kahlo and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, works from the museum’s extensive holdings of Mesoamerican art are also included.

 

Kahlo’s personal artifacts—which range from noteworthy examples of Kahlo’s Tehuana clothing, contemporary and pre-Colonial jewelry, and some of the many hand-painted corsets and prosthetics used by the artist during her lifetime—had been stored in the Casa Azul (Blue House), the longtime Mexico City home of Kahlo and Rivera, who had stipulated that their possessions not be disclosed until 15 years after Rivera’s death. The objects shed new light on how Kahlo crafted her appearance and shaped her personal and public identity to reflect her cultural heritage and political beliefs, while also addressing and incorporating her physical disabilities.

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is based on an exhibition at the V&A London curated by Claire Wilcox and Circe Henestrosa, with Gannit Ankori as curatorial advisor. Their continued participation has been essential to presenting the Brooklyn exhibition, which is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and Lisa Small, Senior Curator, European Art, Brooklyn Museum, in collaboration with the Banco de México Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, and The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and The Vergel Foundation.

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Opens today: Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, V&A Museum, London

640Open until 4 November 2018, this exhibition presents an extraordinary collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico. Click here to book tickets and see related events.

 

Closing this week: ‘Sorolla y la moda’, Museo Sorolla and Museo Thyssen Bornemisza Collection, Madrid

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The exhibition Sorolla y la moda closes on 27 May at the Museo Sorolla in Madrid.
Curated by Eloy Martínez de la Pera, it investigates the connections between Sorolla’s painting and fashion between 1890 and the 1920s.

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