Curated by Ana Balda and Igor Uria, Coal and Velvet is a spectacular exhibition presented at The Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum in Getaria, North of Spain. Located in the beautiful Basque fishing village of Getaria where the fashion designer was born, the museum opened in 2011 and presents regular exhibitions. This year, the museum celebrates the 100th anniversary since Cristóbal Balenciaga’s first store opened in San Sebastian, and the 80th anniversary of his Paris offices. As a result, the 2017 programme focuses on the facets of Balenciaga as a creative artist and entrepreneur.
Coal and Velvet explores the creative dialogue between Cristóbal Balenciaga’s garments and Ortiz Echagüe’s photographies. Both nurtured a genuine passion for Spanish culture reflected in their design and artworks. Elegance, simplicity, and a sense of details best describe their work. The exhibition connects traditional Spanish cultural elements such as popular costumes, religious robes or the historical black worn by widows – reinterpreted by Balenciaga with chic capes and cocktail dresses and resonating in Ortiz Echagüe’s black and white texture and technique. More than 80 pieces including iconic dresses by the master, are on view in the stunning museum across two floors and a special room screening an informative documentary. A must-see show running until 7 May 2017.
Following Coal and velvet is an exhibition devoted to one of Balenciaga’s most-eminent patron and client Rachel Lowe Lambert Mellon.