Cristóbal Balenciaga's innovative pattern-cutting, use of new materials and bold architectural shapes have been greatly influential on a new generation of fashion designers. Molly Goddard, Gareth Pugh and Josep Font for Delpozo reveal how 'The Master' of couture has inspired their 21st-century design practice.
Molly Goddard draws on many influences: fashion photography, sketches by her sister and 1950s Balenciaga. Inspired by dress for special occasions, she uses techniques such as hand-pleating, smocking and crocheting. Goddard is best known for her tulle party dresses, which closely resemble the triangular 'trapeze' shaped 'baby doll' dresses Balenciaga introduced in 1958.
London-based Gareth Pugh is known for his experiments with shape and volume. He employs unusual materials that are difficult to work with, such as PVC and rubber, to make strong silhouettes. Like Balenciaga, he produces shapes that abstract the body.
Josep Font, Creative Director for Delpozo
The founder of Spanish label Delpozo, Jesus del Pozo, admired the work of Balenciaga above all others and received the Cristóbal Balenciaga award for Best Spanish Designer in 1989. Delpozo's current Creative Director, Josep Font, has continued to design clothes in the same tradition, creating volumes that abstract the body, beautifully crafted in lightweight fabric and embellished by intricate sequin work. Font describes Balenciaga as a "maestro of structure and form".