Past Exhibition Ran from 27 May 2017 to 18 February 2018

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

Cristóbal Balenciaga's exquisite craftsmanship and innovative designs shaped modern fashion

This exhibition examined the work and legacy of influential Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with over 100 pieces crafted by ‘the master’ of couture, his protégées and contemporary fashion designers working in the same innovative tradition.

Sponsored by

As a brand with a long history of supporting the fashion industry, American Express is proud to partner with the V&A. Our Card Members are increasingly passionate about art and design, so we're delighted to share this unique exhibition with them and other visitors of the V&A. We hope you enjoy this exquisite collection of work by Cristóbal Balenciaga and the contemporary designers inspired by him as much we do.

Exhibition Highlights

Silk taffeta evening dress, Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1955, Paris, France. Museum no. T.427-1967. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, 1968, Paris, France. Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos

Spiral silk hat, Balenciaga for Eisa, 1962, Spain. Museum no. T.146-1998. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Oscar de la Renta, Spring Summer 2015 ready-to-wear, look 37. ©

Evening mini-dress, Paco Rabanne, 1967. Museum no. T.165:1 to 3-1983. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Elise Daniels with street performers, suit by Balenciaga, Le Marais, Paris, August 1948. Photograph by Richard Avedon. © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga. Harper's Bazaar, June 1967. © Hiro 1967

X-ray photograph of silk taffeta evening dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1955, Paris, France. X-ray by Nick Veasey, 2016. © Nick Veasey

Wild silk evening dress (detail), Cristóbal Balenciaga with embroidery by Lesage, 1960 – 2, Paris, France. Museum no. T.27-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Past Events


Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion