9 unique sketches, hand-drawn by legendary fashion designer Balenciaga. The NFT and physical drawings will be sold as a set (for this drop).
These 9 unique pieces of art portray the inner workings of Cristóbal Balenciaga during 1950-58, as he paved the way for designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy.
Each NFT is framed by 500 Balenciaga drawings that can be viewed in high resolution when zoomed in. A red mark represents the center drawing.
“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.