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Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

Step into fashion history with more than 100 pieces, archival sketches and fabric samples from the influential designer.
By Marissa Ciampi
August 16, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
August 16, 2019

Bendigo Art Gallery will honour one of the most influential fashion icons of all time when the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition opens on August 17. A pioneering 20th century designer hailing from Spain, Cristóbal Balenciaga was considered one of the leaders of haute couture — and hundreds of his designs are making their way to Australia this winter.

For this exclusive exhibition, Bendigo Art Gallery has collaborated with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Expect over 100 garments and hats designed not only by Balenciaga, but also by his 30 contemporaries and apprentices at the design house — who include the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy.

Along with the designer pieces — including pieces worn by actress Ava Gardner, mononymous 50s model Dovima and 60s fashion icon Gloria Guinness — visitors will gain access to Balenciaga's house through archival sketches, fabric samples, photographs and fashion show footage.

This is the gallery's latest fashion-focused installation, with past exhibitions including Melbourne's own Toni Maticevski in 2016, golden era Hollywood designer Edith Head in 2017 and, most recently, an exhibition on Finnish textile icon Marimekkoin June 2018.

The art gallery is located about two hours' drive northwest of Melbourne. Instead of flying into Melbourne, out-of-towners can opt to take a newly operating Qantas direct flight from Sydney to Bendigo — and August would certainly be the time to do it.

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