An astounding collection of drawings by the legendary fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga have surfaced and the NFTs will go to auction on Saturday, October 30th.
Balenciaga: the glamorous 1950s. Drawings from the iconic Maison
For Immediate Release:
An astounding collection of drawings by the legendary fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga have surfaced and the NFTs will go to auction on Saturday, October 30th. These pieces of art portray the inner workings of Balenciaga himself during 1950-58, as he paved the way for designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Andre Courreges, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy.
On 30th October 2,000 guests attending the Maxim Halloween event at the iconic Fontainebleau hotel will have the exclusive opportunity to view 9 Cristóbal Balenciaga drawings which feature the early concepts of his now iconic silhouettes and cuts. Alongside the physical unveiling, the 30th October will see a digital launch of 9 NFT collectables from this breathtaking collection.
Cristobal Balenciaga. “If high fashion is an orchestra, Cristóbal Balenciaga has long been its conductor. We fashion designers are the musicians and we only follow his directions”, Christian Dior said of him.
Balenciaga was the first great couturier. An artist who elevated the dress into the form of an idea of an iconic woman, free from the tortures of corsets, unique. “A good fashion designer must be an architect for models, a sculptor for form, a painter for color, a musician for harmony and a philosopher for measurements”, Balenciaga declared in 1968.
For more than 30 years, Cristóbal Balenciaga dressed the most beautiful, elegant and distinguished women in the world, from European royalty and socialites to Hollywood stars to including: Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Countess Mona Von Bismarck, Helena Rubinstein, Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich, Wallis Simpson, Marella Agnelli or Gloria Guinness.
With Balenciaga, ideas might take shape on the page of a sketchbook or on a sheet of hotel notepaper. Fragments of dresses – the construction of a bodice, a single sleeve or the arrangement of a yoke – would be penciled in here and there. Arrows indicate the direction of the fabric, a few words in Spanish give the color – negra or rojo – and add explanations – ‘eos solo en este lado’, ‘de la misma tela’. In the studio, Balenciaga’s assistants translated his suggestions into sketches for the workshops, where the seamstresses made the first ‘canvases’– the early prototypes.
A back view, a detail and a sample of fabric completed this working document, on which the name of the première d’atelier (head seamstress) was mentioned. The name of the model was also mentioned. She would wear the model from the fittings of the ‘canvas’ to the completed garment. And at the end, next to the drawing was also the number on the tag that the model would carry in her hand as she walked down the runway.
The beauty of Maison Balenciaga’s drawings is that they also mirror an extraordinary collective work.
The collection Balenciaga: the glamorous 1950s. Lorenzo Riva, who was artistic director of Balenciaga in Paris in the eighties, has gathered an astonishing collection of drawings dating back to the period 1950-58. This collection has never been exhibited.
The collection is varied and each drawing is absolutely unique. There are quick and precious drawings by Balenciaga, such as those made in London when he was a guest of the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, in order to create her exclusive clothes: one of these, a romantic cocktail dress, will be unveiled on 30th. And there are drawings on which the whole team of the maison Balenciaga worked, in an overlapping of fabrics pinned together with names and numbers added on the fly: a fascinating artwork that offers a virtual journey from the drawing to the making of the dress. On the sheets of paper are the folds and marks made by the hands of Balenciaga and those who worked with him. There are drawings cut out and glued on another sheet, because that very sketch was considered precious and had to be saved. Each drawing is a project, it contains the seed of an idea destined to become the dream of an entire generation of women. These drawings are alive artworks, able to offer us the emotion of the creation of clothes that have made fashion history in the Fifties.
Lorenzo Riva (1938), the owner of the collection, is an Italian fashion designer. After his first fashion show, when he was only 18 years old, he opened his first atelier and the press was quick to celebrate him. It was 1958. In the Seventies he moved to Paris where he worked with the most famous couturier. For two years, 1980 and 1981, he was the artistic director of the maison Balenciaga, a fundamental experience for his professional training. Then he returned to Milan and dedicated a collection to wedding dresses: they will become his specialty and traditionally close all of his fashion shows. In 1991 the presentation of the haute couture collection in Rome and then the prêt-à-porter, within Milano Collezioni. In the 1996 introduces its dresses to New York, to the Cristinerose Gallery of Soho. Over the years he has created dresses for famous people from the jet set and show business such as Isabella Rossellini, Penélope Cruz, Emmanuelle Seigner, Carmen Maura, Lana Marks, Whitney Houston, Jerry Hall, Chiara Mastroianni, Ivana Trump, Mafalda d’Aosta and Princess Claude de France. A documentary about his life, I am the sun, will soon be in cinemas.
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While attendees at the Fontainebleau Maxim event will get an exclusive look at these drawings in person, the public will have the opportunity to bid online. The auction will be live from Saturday 30 October on EdiXion, the multimedia publishing house of Art Consulting: https://artconsulting.net/nft/ They will also be available to purchase through Opensea.
The curators of the collection Balenciaga: the glamorous 1950s are Romano Ravasio and Marina Pizziolo, founder and partner of Art Consulting (artconsulting.net), while the entire operation is the result of a partnership with Artvein.net.
Tickets to the event: https://www.maximhalloween.com/
Instagram handle @Balenciaga_glamorous_1950s
NFT 2: Green Energy (framed by 500 Balenciaga drawings. The red mark represents the center drawing)
Cristobal Balenciaga, Green energy, Evening dress, 1950 c.
Ink and watercolor on paper, 8,1 x 5,2 inch.
(20,7 x 13,2 cm)
NFT 3: Scheherazade (framed by 500 Balenciaga drawings. The red mark represents the center drawing)
Cristobal Balenciaga, Scheherazade, Ensemble, 1955 c.
Ink, watercolor and pencil on paper, 8 x 5,6 inch.
(20,3 x 14,2 cm)
In the upper right corner “Salvador”: Monsieur Salvador was Premier d’atelier, head seamstress, from 1948 to 1968. In the lower left corner, a note about the fabric: “n. Pieza 2668”.
NFT 4: Turquoise peacock (framed by 500 Balenciaga drawings. The red mark represents the center drawing)
Cristobal Balenciaga, Turquoise peacock, Cocktail dress, 1955 c.
Pencil, fabric and pin on paper, 8,3 x 5,8 inch.
(21 x 14,8 cm)
NFT 1: For Wallis (framed by 500 Balenciaga drawings. The red mark represents the center drawing)
Cristobal Balenciaga, For Wallis, Cocktail dress, November 1951
In the upper right corner “London 11 51”
Pencil on paper, 8,1 x 5,2 inch.
(20,7 x 13,3 cm)
Balenciaga and Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, were close friends.
Lorenzo Riva in Milan, 2021
The Company profile of the curators of the collection Balenciaga: the glamorous 1950s
For more information or interviews please contact:
Lesley Diana | Lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca | 604-726-5575
- Tickets to the event: https://www.maximhalloween.com/
- Instagram handle @Balenciaga_glamorous_1950s