Undoubtedly fashion is no longer an exclusive term. The possibilities to elaborate style are endless: with mass
market and bridge medium brands, infamous design houses and their natural expansion into cosmetic lines and accessories. European couture might seem as irrelevant today as an overpriced gown worn once for a red carpet event in exchange of exposure. Yet, if looked at closely, there is an influence that cannot be easily brushed off. !
Current exhibition ‘: Shaping Fashion’1 in the London’s Victoria and Albert museum has proved that inquisitiveness in the history of fashion is yet applicable in this day and age. As for many influential expositions, the first sign of immense interest is the inevitable line of spectators, curious students, and tourists, followed by massive social media coverage (which is encouraged). What many fail to notice is with what undivided attention the audience draws towards the designer’s pieces. !
Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga was one of the first innovators in pattern-making, shape, and change in the female dress. Sculptured pieces that one may desire today is the echo of a forefront revolution of Balenciaga himself and his protégées. Craftsmanship, care for detail and quality is cherished and sought after still, because of the impact that couture trails behind. !
Balenciaga woman has adjusted and is now modern, carving a career in the environment dominated by men, juggling personal life and work. Maybe she does not even wear Balenciaga at all, because let’s face it : a soft shopping bag with labels stamped all over for a price of a monthly apartment rental is an over exaggerated buy. But she exists. She invests in statement clothing that will give her the confidence to run the world on her own terms. Couture is about empowerment, and if you can find that feeling within a reasonable price range where quality is more important than a tag itself, well jackpot. !
Masha Nova, Artist/Writer, Milan based