Balenciaga Spanish explorations of the 17th Century have uncovered the logwood in Mexico, from which one made an indelible black dye: dyed fabrics remained perfectly black, even after several washes, and the colour became very fashionable at the Spanish Court.

Balenciaga loved the colour black: it allows to concentrate exclusively on the cut of the garment without distractions and to introduce shades and highlights, by adding a different fabric to supplement it. The selection of materials is based on the required properties, to fit ideally with the cut.

And if the tissue does not exist, it needs to be invented. The “Gazar” has been developed in 1958 by a Swiss textile firm in collaboration with Cristobal Balenciaga: it is a gleaming lightweight silk fabric with a great ability to hold its shape, only used in haute couture.

The seventy monochrome pieces, from the Galliera collections and the archives of Maison Balenciaga, feature a creative and original exhibition, where black is a new colour.

Photos © Collection Palais Galliera - © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet / ©Balenciaga Archives Paris

Balenciaga, l’œuvre au noir exhibition from March 8th to July 16th, 2017 >>

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