Author(s): Olivier Saillard
Cristobal Balenciaga's black couture dresses, capes, and coats delighted the society of his day as they changed the future of fashion. Here, lush new photography paired with archival images and sketches will delight readers in revealing the subtle tones and extraordinary detailing of the couturier's masterpieces in black. Balenciaga in Black explores the creative genius of Crist bal Balenciaga, "the couturier's couturier"--the fashion designer revered by all other fashion designers. Black served as inspiration and guiding principal for the legendary dressmaker and provided a rich canvas for this extraordinary technician, allowing him to develop new textures and innovative shapes. To Balenciaga black was a vibrant material, alternately opaque or transparent, matte or shining, combined in sumptuous fabrics and undergirding the apparent simplicity of his cuts. Pierre Even's photography of Balenciaga's masterworks, produced specifically for this catalog, capture these subtle gradations in tone and lush details with contemporary precision. Fifty pieces from the Galliera Collection and the Balenciaga archives, including daywear, cocktail dresses or evening ensembles, lined in silk taffeta, fringed with satin ribbons, jet pearls, sequins, are revealed as never before. These contemporary photographs are presented alongside historical portfolios by legendary fashion photographers Richard Avedon, Henry Clarke, and Irving Penn to form three distinct sections: Balenciaga's volumes, interplay of black and light, and combinations of black with subtle colors. Balenciaga's specific materials and shapes are further illuminated by texts, sketches, and detailed captions.