Balenciaga Paris by Pamela Golbin and Fabien Baron

This gigantic book by Pamela Golbin (author of the excellent overview "Fashion Designers") really tells the story of two houses of Balenciaga - the original, helmed by the great Cristobal Balenciaga, and the modern-day couturier.

The real heart of the book for vintage-fashion mavens, however, is the first half of the book, detailing the work of the illustrious Senor Balenciaga. The gentleman was probably the finest designer of the "New Look" era after M. Dior himself, and worked for much longer than Dior did. He excelled particularly, in my own opinion, at lush, silken, flowing gowns, which are copiously - and beautifully - detailed here. It's all here; biographical information, design sketches, behind-the-scenes photographs, catwalk shots. www.amazon.com

Balenciaga Paris by Pamela Golbin and Fabien Baron (Paperback - Sept. 25, 2006).

Cristóbal Balenciaga in 1927

Harper's Bazaar, December 1950 (photograph by Richard Avedon)

Vogue, September 1950 (photograph by Irving Penn)

Harper's Bazaar, October 1952 (photograph by Richard Avedon)

Vogue, September 1953 (photograph by Richard Avedon)

Vogue Paris, May 1966 (photograph by William Klein)

Further reading:

Balenciaga Paris by Pamela Golbin and Fabien Baron (Paperback - Sept. 25, 2006)

Balenciaga Paris traces the designer's collections year by year, from 1937 to 2006, using photos, press cuttings, sketches, and other archival material. The book explores two main periods in depth: 1937-1968, when Cristobal Balenciaga made his name during Paris's golden age of fashion; and 1996-2006, charting the dramatic revival of the House of Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière, one of the most widely admired and celebrated new designers in contemporary fashion. He has co-directed the book's production with Pamela Golbin, curator at the Musée de la Mode et du Textile, Paris, who has compiled the text.

Described by Christian Dior as "the master of us all," Balenciaga's bold genius with cut, line, and fabric mark him out as one of the most daring and original designers in the world of haute couture. His virtuoso command of technique and imaginative exuberance recall his Spanish roots as well as assuring his place in the pantheon of twentieth-century style and elegance. 280 illustrations, 200 in color.

Balenciaga Paris by Pamela Golbin and Fabien Baron (Paperback - Sept. 25, 2006)