Monday, November 29, 2010

Balenciaga and the Fabric District

We had planned to see a couple of fashion exhibitions today with the group, but as we discovered upon reaching the Museum of the City of New York all the way up at 103rd st, many of the galleries and museums are, in fact, not open of a Monday. Woo. So, rearranging plans, we decided to view the fantastically curated Balenciaga exhibition at the Spanish Insitute in New York first before discovering the orgasmic Fabric District.

Hamish Bowles worked with Oscar de la Renta to curate the exhibition and pay dutiful homage to the legendary career of Christobal Balenciaga. Displayed across 3 levels in the graceful Institute building, the exhibition was an exploration of his work and inspirations throughout his career, featuring notable garments (including his famous pleated=sleeve coat of 1969) as well as a collection of various points of reference and illustrations within his work. The exhibition was breathtaking, and as a fond admirer of his work since a very young age, I felt truly privileged to be in the same room as some of those recognizable pieces, where I was able to appreciate and admire the intricacies of his techniques at an arm´s length distance. On a side comment on the curatorial of the exhibition, Bowles created a particularly compelling impact on the viewer by strategically placing each piece among pieces of cohesive concepts and inspirations. It was utterly beautiful.

Inspired once again by the grace of Balenciaga´s career, it seemed naturally perfect to venture back to the Fabric District to source ideas and materials for my own studio collection. Alas, I was completely overwhelmed by the extent of the district, which runs across 2 avenues and 4 streets between 33rd and 37th near Union Square. I walked out of Mood (225 W37th) without any amazing swatches…however, I did purchase a large wooden button to inspire initial concept development. I will definitely have to have a better idea on my direction before I return to that part of Manhatten again.

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