A new biography of an elusive midcentury fashion legend
Balenciaga head designer Nicolas Ghesquière just ended his fifteen-year stint to be replaced by Alexander Wang, who could, says The Guardian, take the brand into a more “mass market” and less “elitist” direction. One wonders if Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895–1972)—the master craftsman who didn’t even know from “brands,” and wanted his name to die with him (his family decided otherwise)—would appreciate the irony of his make-under for the “street style” set. Between the house of Balenciaga that thrived from 1937 to 1968 as the cathedral of couture, and today’s branding orgy where “the name, depersonalized, is world-famous [while] the designer is expendable,” modern buying power has clearly sashayed from class to mass.
Mary Blume, a veteran Paris-based reporter for the International Herald Tribune, offers a peek at
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