Cristobal Balenciaga: Master Class

Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga's rigorous cut and subtle style lent women a sense of dignity and poise that still inspires designers

A FASHION PURIST who reportedly never gave a single interview, Cristóbal Balenciaga created a revolution with his subtle hand and rigorous tailoring. So flattering were the cut and construction of his clothes that Diana Vreeland once declared, "In a Balenciaga you were the only woman in the room." Born in a small Basque village in Spain in 1895, Balenciaga worked in his mother's seamstress shop and found his first client at 13 when a local countess permitted him to copy one of her couture dresses. She later paid his way to Madrid for formal training. By 1919 Balenciaga had his own...

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