Next up in the Designer Crochet series is fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga. There was actually an exhibit of Balenciaga designs at a museum here last year and I kept meaning to make it over to see it then never did which kind of bummed me out when I realized that I missed it. The next big one here is the Gaultier show and I’m definitely going to make it to that one.
Anyhow, I’m about to get into how crochet plays into Balenciaga’s designs but before I do that I just want to note again that sometimes I get it wrong, calling an item crochet when it’s not (read more here) and I always encourage my readers to let me know when they think an item I’ve said is crochet might not be. That way the blog can have the right information. Regardless, know that I always intend the designs to serve as inspiration for crocheters whether or not they’re truly handmade crochet!
About Fashion Designer Cristobal Balenciaga
Simone Werle’s 50 Fashion Designers You Should Know succinctly explains that Balenciaga is “the Spanish fashion visionary (who) revolutionized haute couture with his clean, sculptural lines”. It goes on to note that fashion designer Christian Dior said of Balenciaga, “Haute couture is like an orchestra, for which only Balenciaga is the conductor”. This shows the respect that the fashion industry had for the cutting-edge silhouettes that Balenciaga introduced to the world in the 1940’s and 1950’s. He took a minimalist approach to high fashion, using an eye for perfect proportions to make sure that the women who wore his designs always looked ultra-feminine without the frills. Customers were more than willing to pay the price and the price was high considering that he was the single most expensive couturier in Paris at the time and never lent out clothing or accepted discounts. I imagine this only served to make his designs even more desirable! Balenciaga passed away in 1972 at the age of 77 but his fashion house continues to produce amazing designs to this day.
Crochet in Balenciaga’s Work
As far as I can tell, Balenciaga didn’t work with crochet himself. However the House of Balenciaga has recently begun to offer some crochet and crochet-inspired pieces.
Crochet Motif Dress by House of Balenciaga, 2010
Today’s Balenciaga fashion house is putting out crochet bags at a price of about $750 each.
How to Wear Balenciaga with Crochet
Balenciaga’s fashion house today is known for putting out great leather handbags. It’s popular today to pair one with a contemporary crochet top for a hot casual look. Style photo from Wendy’s LookBook.
Here we can see that Balenciaga accessories (the necklace) also look good with crochet dresses (this one is Vera Wang). Via British Vogue.
The Kardashian girls show how a crochet vest can look good over a white Balenciaga tank top. Photo via Monica Rose Stylist.
Crochet Inspired by Balenciaga
Check out how Hep reinvented a modern Balenciaga bag into a crochet version:
Balenciaga Designs I’d Love To See Reinvented in Crochet
Dovima in Balenciaga, 1940’s, photography by Richard Avedon
Cocoa-colored Balenciaga dress by Irving Penn, 1950, via MimiFrouFrou
Vintage Balenciaga Hat. Would it look great in crochet? Via Violet Folkore.
Are you a Balenciaga fan?