Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Homage to Westwood and Balenciaga
In this piece I pay homage to two fashion icons - Vivienne Westwood (British) and Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish.) When I saw the Westwood exhibit at the de Young Museum here in San Francisco, I was blown away by her vision and courage. (So much so, that I returned twice.) I was first introduced to Balenciaga on a trip to Spain in 2006.
Unable to get into the Picasso Museum due to crowds, I opted for the Textile Museum just across the street - what a treat! On the top floor I discovered an exhibit of Balenciaga's work decade by decade. His couture pieces were stunning.
The faux fur/leather was purchased in Santiago de Compostela (on that same 2006 trip.) The fabric shop was jaw-dropping beautiful. The snakeskin jersey was purchased there as well and yes, I made the gloves (mostly by hand) from a Vogue pattern and have a new respect for glove makers! That same fabric is echoed in the Dior roses. An old belt was sacrificed for the sake of art and the feather trim is from a store in Fort Bragg. I have had it for years waiting for the perfect project.
For those who know these two designers, it may seem odd to put them together in the same piece. The gloves and fur are for the wild Westwood. The Dior roses and hand stitching are in honor of Balenciaga.
It seems to me these two coexist quite nicely here. I had planned a series based on couture dressmaking techniques. Now that I have finished this piece, I find I want to go in a different direction with that series. Rather than reproduce techniques I rather like the idea of interpreting each in a more personal way. And I am quite sure there are more gloves in my future...
Susan in San Francisco