The Master of Us All: Balenciaga, His Workrooms, His World

Mary Blume. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, $25 (192p) ISBN 9780374298739
Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895–1972) was deemed “‘master of us all’” by Christian Dior: by the age of 21 he dressed the queen of Spain, and in 1950, Harper’s Bazaar called him “the most elegant couturier in the world today.” In this intimate, enthusiastic, and lively first biography of the enigmatic designer, Blume (A French Affair) begins by chronicling Balenciaga’s rapid rise from his modest childhood in a Basque fishing village to his highly influential friendship with Paris designer Madeleine Vionnet, his early success in Spain, the establishment of the houses of Balenciaga in Madrid and Barcelona, and his departure in 1936 for Paris, where he presided over the third House of Balenciaga from 1937 to 1968. Though his designs were routinely described as “very Spanish,” Blume notes Balenciaga’s numerous other influences, including Japanese woodcuts and impressionist paintings, and insightfully contextualizes Balenciaga in relation to contemporaries Coco Chanel and Hubert de Givenchy. Blume, former culture columnist for the International Herald Tribune, writes with wit and aplomb; she was also a Balenciaga client, a fact that clearly informed the revealing and laudatory perspective shared with readers here. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 02/05/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-374-53438-7
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4668-3606-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.