Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition will be at the Bendigo Art Gallery from August 17 – November 10, featuring the world’s most innovative and influential fashion designers of the 20th century. Referred to as ‘The Master’, Cristobel Balenciaga’s designs influenced other designers including Christian Dior and Coco Chanel; the exhibition explores the work and legacy of this renowned couturier, showcasing more than 100 garments and hats crafted by Balenciaga from the 1950s and 1960s – arguably the most creative period of his career – through to the work of his protégés and contemporary designers who continue to work in the same innovative way today. Balenciaga’s most famous model Maggi Eckardt provided us with quick reflection of her career with The Master.
Can you remember what you wore on your first Balenciaga modelling job? Can you tell us about it?
I remember the first creation I wore. It was a very tailored suit, short cropped jacket of silk faille fabric, white with navy spots. This was worn with a pencil slim skirt and topped off with a large brimmed straw hat in bright red colour.
Has Balenciaga influenced your own personal style? If yes, how?
Yes Balenciaga has certainly touched me in many ways, mostly knowing proportions and good fabrics.
You have been photographed in iconic brands such as Balenciaga, Christian Dior and Balmain, what is it about these brands that have stood the test of time?
The famous designers all have a couple of qualities in common that have stood the test of time. Beautiful fabrics and intricate construction of the garments.
What was your most memorable (for any reason) outfit of all time?
It would hard to choose my favourite creation but one that comes to mind is on page 39 of the exhibition catalogue. The amazing combination of fabrics, siree, satin and jet bugle beads. Only Balenciaga would have the imagination to combine them.
Are we ever going to see someone with as much influence as Balenciaga again?
I don’t think so, he was a genius. How often are they born? He dedicated his entire life to his passion.
In all of your images you have exceptional hair – how important is great hair to complete an outfit? Hair always completes an outfit. (Having said this, it is easier to achieve a great look in a photograph when only the front is seen!)
Jools For Jim is the Style Partner for Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. Watch out for your chance to obtain tickets to this stunning exhibition.