I promised to talk more in detail about my visit to Balenciaga museum, so today it’s time. This summer, taking advantage that we were around the area, we decided to approach Getaria which is the birthplace of Cristobal Balenciaga and where the museum dedicated to his work is located.
Admission to the museum may be a bit expensive, 10 euros, but in my opinion it’s worth it. There are discounts available for students and teachers, but it was not the case.
The first thing you see upon arrival is the building in which it is located, none other than the Aldamar Palace which was the former summer residence of the Marquis of Casa Torre, patron of Balenciaga. Next to the palace is the museum itself, which is a modern and sober building. The contrast and fusion of architectural styles is spectacular.
The museum has several exhibits, permanent and other temporary. First of all you are invited to see a screening of a documentary about the life of Balenciaga which helps you to understand better the pieces you see in the museum. The screening room is behind a wall with the chronology of his work and there is also the original sign of his famous store in Paris.
Contemporary to Dior and Channel, he is considered the most important Spanish haute couture fashion designer in history. In his own words: “A couturier must be an Architect of design. A sculpture for safe. A painter for colour. A musician for harmony. A philosopher for temperance”.
In the permanent exhibition you can see several of his dresses from different eras and styles, and also sketches, headdresses, hats and even perfumes. The route is quite dark because the lighting is limited to preserve the clothes in good condition. The museum has a collection of more than 1,300 pieces, but only a small part of them are exposed and the collection changes periodically.
Each dress is a work of art, a textile jewel from and innovative genius and a perfectionist, ahead of his time. They are pieces of timeless elegance favoring for any woman.
Among the temporary exhibitions was: “A Dream of Balenciaga, the cinema” which takes a photographic journey through countless movies in which Balenciaga collaborated with leading actresses, all celluloid divas like Ava Gardner, Sara Montiel, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot and Maria Felix.
Another temporary exhibition was “Balenciaga and haute couture in Barcelona. Near and distance “, which studies the relationship with leading catalan designers contemporary to Balenciaga.
Finally, I leave you a video of the museum where you can see how beautiful is the building.