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Karolyn Kiisel: 2005-06 Faculty Development Grant Report

 Sketch of Balenciaga Dress

Sketch of a Balenciaga dress by Karolyn Kiisel

Excerpt:

The Imprint of Cristobal Balenciaga

The emergence of the Pret a Porter clothing industry was as important to fashion as was the Industrial Revolution to manufacturing; an entirely different quality of product evolved. As this new era was ushered in during the 50’s and 60’s, the couturiere’s were the bricks and mortar upon which this industry was built. Often cited as the most influential designer, Cristobal Balenciaga’s artistically unique style of silhouette and shape provided a blueprint for many future designers to follow, including Nicolas Ghesquiere, current designer of the House of his name.

The exhibition of Balenciaga’s work at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs leads the viewer along his life path chronologically. Pamela Golbin, the exhibit curator, pointed out interestingly, that many of the themes he developed throughout his career, such as use of floral motifs, bold contrasts, and the exploration of volume and shape, were apparent in his earliest pieces.

--Karolyn Kiisel
Fashion Design

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