On a gorgeous sunny Saturday in San Francisco my daughter Chrissie and I ventured out to the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park to view a Balenciaga exhibit. Cristobal Balenciaga was a designer from the early 20th century that was raised in Spain but, became a couture designer in Paris from the 1930s until he retired in late 1960s. The exhibit had 120 ( ! ) gowns that represented the entire span of his career. The garments were all fabulous and very inspired by his Spainish youth. During his career Balenciaga kept revisiting images that obviously captured his imagination such as bows, bubble hems, pom-poms, scooped out skirt fronts, boat necklines, pinked fabric edges, collar details in the back, etc. etc.
The exhibit was a joy to walk through with giant art work reproductions of Velasquez and Goya and bullfights and photos of fisher women that probably influenced Balenciaga's designs. From a technical perspective the garments were inspirational and from a purely visual experience the garments were stunning. The exhibit had my imagination and awe on overdrive and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.