Tailored Suits - Cristóbal Balenciaga
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Cristóbal Balenciaga was regarded by many, including Christian Dior, as 'the master'. He moved to Paris from Spain in 1937 and quickly established himself as a dominant figure within Parisian couture. The house produced 356 designs per year - less than half of Dior's production of 815, which was a mark of Balenciaga's exacting standards. He was renowned in the trade for inspecting and resetting sleeves that were not perfect - even after the garment had been shown in a collection or was being worn by a client.
From 1947 onwards Balenciaga offered two styles of suit: the first fitted and in line with the hour-glass shape of Diors New Look, the second semi-fitted or loose.
Christian Dior once commented upon seeing a Balenciaga suit, 'Only Balenciaga would be capable of producing such perfection'.
Suit (tailleur) 1
Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972)
Tweed lined with silk
Worn by Mrs Opal Holt and given by Mrs Haynes and Mrs Clark
Museum no. T.128&A-1982