I took my PS1 for a test drive to the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate park. Cristobal Balenciaga is one of my favorite couturiers, and being a fan of Nicolas Ghesquière (who was notably absent from the opening gala) and the house in modern times, the exhibit was all the more exciting. I have to say that it was a gorgeous day in the park: sun, laughing children, and POLLEN. It is a little embarrassing to go to an exhibit such as this and sneeze the entire time. I crossed my fingers and prayed for a break in my allergies - at least until the gift shop.
Balenciaga and Spain is a marvelous collection of beautiful pieces, both garments and accessories, from Balenciaga's career. The exhibition is thoughtfully divided into 6 sections, each highlighting a key influence in Balenciaga's work: Spanish Art, Regional Dress, the Spanish Court, Religious Life and Ceremony, the Bullfight, and Dance. There is a true sense of Spanish culture in the works presented. The frills and drama of the flamenco dancer, the volume of the farthingales in Spanish royal fashion, and the intricacy and detail in a matador's bolero are all translated into the most elegant of garments. It is inspiring to see how Balenciaga was able to incorporate his heritage into clothing without producing costume, while at the same time creating visionary modern pieces in the budding fashion world of the 1960's. I highly recommend checking out the exhibit at The de Young March 26, 2011 - July 4, 2011.
A few tips: 1. Students receive a discount for admission 2. Those with proof of public transportation will receive an additional discount 3. Even if it is warm outside, the light and temperature controlled exhibit is a bit cold (as to protect the garments) so bring a sweater or extra layer