Discover historic fashion with the ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery

If you’re religiously a Balenciaga fan or a true admirer of sartorial art or happen to be in Australia until November, then there is an incredible experience that awaits you at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Melbourne. In collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bendigo Art gallery is exhibiting over hundred pieces by not just the late designer Cristóbal Balenciaga but also by his thirty contemporaries and protégés like Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy. Bringing along a hatful of fashionable history, and primarily featuring pieces by the revolutionary designer from the 50s and 60s, it is rightly named as ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’. 

Photo credits: The Guardian

Balenciaga embodying the genius of Cristóbal Balenciaga, who was quoted as “The master of us all” by the celebrated designer Christian Dior, has pushed boundaries for women’s clothing stereotype and is the pioneer of breaking the traditional tiny waisted apparel notion in women’s fashion. Indeed Cristóbal is ‘The Master’ whose work was exceptionally unique and continues to shape fashion even after decades, whether we talk about couture or high street. Initially establishing his dressmaking business in northern Spain about hundred years ago, Balenciaga went on to creating some masterful characterised clothes made of sculptural designs with aesthetic manipulation and dramatic use of texture. This exhibition focuses on the same history-rich techniques and popular silhouettes that went on and on to inspire many designers, even today.

Photo credits: Weekend Notes

The collective exhibition is divided into two halves, the first features the most renowned works of his most innovative years, where the exhibit displays his craftsmanship and the experience of being one of his clients. The second half features the impact of his work on later generations in fashion and the work of those who shared a close seat to him, and also of the designers of today whose work is still based on the benchmarks that the legend set.

Here we have got some special exhibit details to give you a little preview of the creative history that’s unfolding its intense wings at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

Silk taffeta evening dress, Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1955 & Its X-Ray

To showcase the intricacies of Balenciaga’s structural techniques, British photographer Nick Veasey’s x-ray images of the gown are placed alongside the beautiful and comfortable creations to let you visually understand the exceptional art of the master.

Photo credits: The Guardian

Paco Rabanne’s Sequenced Mini Dress

Designed by San Sebastian’s son, who was a head seamstress for Balenciaga, the dress embodies the design made of jewellery-making techniques which further exemplifies the 1960s as a huge leap for experimental fashion.

Photo credits: The Guardian (L), RMIT Fashion (R)

Rei Kawakubos’s leather ensemble 

Rei Kawakubos echoed the ‘sack’ dress concept, which was first set forward by Balenciaga in the 1950s, and made a leather ensemble out of Balenciaga’s inspiration, which in turn made the designer make a mark in the history’s fashion diary, and now is certainly one of the most renowned designers in Asia.

Photo credits: The Urban List (L), RMIT Fashion (R)

The exhibition is already trending on Instagram and is being intensely loved by the designers and fashion enthusiasts alike. Despite the rich details, it also features old runway walk footages, fabric samples, and archive sketches. This incredible showcase will last until the 10th of November so even though there is ample time, do get your tickets soon enough to dodge the chance of letting this experience slip by your hand! It’s the chance to channel your eternal fashion lover and make your fashion understating even more holistic.

At we take great effort to credit all visual content to the source and the rightful owners. However, we can’t guarantee that we always get it right. If you feel we have erroneously identified your image or would like it removed, please get in touch. Our images come from a variety of sources, including Pinterest, Google Images and, of course, directly from the source.


Most Talked About

Related Articles