Balenciaga was an extremely private man who gave few interviews. He is often called a 'designer's designer', since some knowledge of tailoring is needed to fully appreciate his clothes. He preferred to work with firm, stiff fabrics which gave his clothing a sculptural appearance. His 1960 sack dress was much copied by other designers.
The House of Balenciaga, typical of the Paris fashion world, had many wealthy customers. However, it was severely challenged in the 1960s, as fashionable young people bought ready-to-wear clothing instead of couture. Symbolically, Balenciaga closed down his fashion house in 1968, a year of violent political protests in Paris. Nonetheless, in training both Courrèges and Ungaro, Balenciaga continued to influence radically different 1960s fashion.
Silk taffeta, boned and padded, metal, machine-sewn and hand-finished, wire, lined with chiffon
Museum no. T.427-1967