Being Touristy- Balenciaga Shaping Fashion

by Vanessa Akin-Adesola Comments 13

Hello, hello, hello !

I’m back, its the long awaited post, the drama surrounded post, at least the first part of it. So remember last week when I had a mini meltdown on my Instagram stories? if you didn’t see it, let me give you a break down; I mistakenly deleted all my pictures from the Victoria and Albert Museum London which was to form the basis for this post and so I cried like a baby on Instagram, fast forward 5 minutes later, I recovered them after running an SD card recovery software. So yeah, not embarrassing at all.

So I split the post in two because there are too many images for one post. This post will be about the Balenciaga Shaping Fashion exhibit at the museum, which is a fashion lovers dream, this exhibit is still on till the 18th of February 2018, so if you’re in London, you should definitely go see it.

It shows you Cristobal Balenciaga’s work as founder of the fashion house Balenciaga from the start till his death by means of his clothes and various short clips of Balenciaga’s history and then takes you on the journey of Balenciaga after Cristobal’s death. So I took pictures of the exhibit, well as much as I could while still enjoying the exhibit.

The first image will give you a bit of  timeline of Cristobal’s career. 

Cristobal, created and built a fashion house and a legacy of beauty and class and incredible fashion and this exhibit shows the amazing craftsmanship of this innovator, time and time again Cristobal challenged fashion rules and broke them and created new ones. The next image shows you some of his exquisite work

This pink dress like many of Cristobal’s desins were influenced by Spanish flamenco dancers and the movement of the ruffles when the dancer moves, here he uses three flounces and then lengthens the train with a separate flounce at the back. exquisite craftsmanship and design.

The next image shows how he challenged the shape of dresses made then, Cristobal Balenciaga was the first person to make the unsexy sack a shift dress with no shaping of the bodice of hips, basically a sack which was the opposite of fashion back then. He made variations of the sack dress and here are some

“For twenty years he was he was the prophet of nearly every change in silhouette” – Diana Vreeland ,First Fashion Editor of Harpers Bazzar.

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The effect of the bow at the back of those dresses, sing to me, that is actually two dresses, the backless one is an overlay over the fit and flare dress underneath, magnificent,I can’t show you this but there was short clip that showed the pattern making and construction of this dress and it was the most beautiful thing i’d ever seen.

On and on we go, Cristobal never stopped pushing boundaries and making fashion fun and incredibly beautiful, prime example  are his sketches and pattern work which are then made into beautiful garments (i’m going to be saying beautiful a lot)


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Couture! that was Balenciaga’s middle name and it wasn’t just in the designs but in the level of work put into the dresses, below is a picture of some of his couture dresses; one is turned inside out to show the impeccable work, in the boning and stitching, basically a joy to behold.

For a very long time Balenciaga’s work was made custom and for very specific customers, the best dressed and wealthiest women in the world. However if the cost of his Paris salon was out of reach there were other ways of getting a Balenciaga piece which included his less expensive label Elisa in Spain where labor costs were cheaper. Others were licensed for high end department stores like Harrods to copy. Below is  a picture of the fabric swatches sent to Harrods for imitation of Balenciaga designs.

“A woman has no need to be perfect or even beautiful to wear my dresses. The dress will do all that for her” – Cristobal Balenciaga

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After Cristobal Balenciaga’s death there was a lot of speculation as to what would happen to the House of Balenciaga and his legacy.

“The idea was to bring Cristobal’s kind of elegance… but take it into a kind of cool and make it more mordern.” – Demna Gvasalia, Creative Director, Balenciaga

The rest of this post will show you the House of Balenciaga after Cristobal Balenciaga’s death.

Still, exquisite, the choice of fabric very Balenciaga. What about pushing the boundaries with silhouette and fashion choices, Balenciaga still plays with volume. and silhouette.

Not to sound cheesy, this exhibition showed me how the passion and creativity of one man created a legacy that has always been ahead of the curve and touched and changed the lives of many even if in the most vain way, brought a little joy to a woman’s closest. This exhibition is a must see, again, if you find yourself in London before the 18th of February 2018, go to the V&A museum and see all these and more for yourself,

The next being touristy post will be up next Monday and will be part two  of this amazing day. It will show how much fun I had exploring the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Till then, like, comment and share this post. Connect with me on social media @vanessa_ohaha.



Vanessa Akin-AdesolaBeing Touristy- Balenciaga Shaping Fashion


  1. theblackbeauty

    To think i was reading about Balenciaga today on Porter Magazine Summer 2017 Issue which was such an insightful piece and you coming through with this post is such a welcomed coincidence. Like you mentioned, House of Balenciaga was the most expensive in Paris and there was never a discussion of price as the customers knew they were getting value worth of their money. Balenciaga is fashion Picasso! I so much enjoyed reading this post Vanessa and the pictures are amazing! Thank heavens you recovered the pictures, looking forward to the next post.

    1. Vanessa Akin-Adesola

      Ooh nice. I’m glad that you had a double dose of Balenciaga goodness. Balenciaga was true couture worth every dime. I was incredibly blessed to see that exhibition

  2. Labakeany

    I love these outfits, it is not even just about beauty, there is an outfit for all occasions. I just added owning a piece as a style goal. I can’t wait to see the rest. Super happy you were able to recover the pictures, I would definitely have done more than crying.

  3. Layefa

    You always leave me awed by your beautiful headlines for a sart and then the main post…. This is amazing, I mean look at those dresses alongside those details. I haven’t been there but it feels like I am already.. Can’t wait to see the rest of the post,,,, kudos sister


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