Balenciaga gown 1954
Hilary Rhoda in vintage Balenciaga
Jennifer Connelly in Balenciaga advertisement
Balenciaga Resort 2011
The fashion house of Balenciaga was founded by Cristobal Balenciaga, a designer from the Basque region of Spain. Though he established his career with boutiques across Spain, he then moved to Paris where he opened a couture house in 1937, and gained popularity almost immediately thanks to his revolutionary, original designs. He reinvented the female silhouette, and was credited with creating new shapes including the tunic dress, the balloon jacket, the babydoll dress, the cocoon coat, the balloon skirt and the sack dress. Balenciaga's innovations in the fashion world were some of the most important contributions made throughout the 20th century, and Christian Dior once referred to him as "the master" of designers. The house is now headed by Nicolas Ghesquière, who lends a modern, futuristic image to the label.