The small Spanish village of Getaria has honoured one of its most famous residents with a brand new €30million museum, officially opening its doors to the public tomorrow. Legendary designer Cristóbal Balenciaga‘s work will now have a permanent home at the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, which was officially opened by the Queen of Spain yesterday. It displays nearly a hundred of his most legendary pieces – including the wedding dress worn by Belgium’s very own Queen Fabiola, as well as one worn by Princess Grace of Monaco.
Cristobal Balenciaga, son of a fisherman and a seamstress, is seen as the designer responsible for completely changing the womenswear silhouette in the Fifties, playing with the traditional waistlines, raising them and thus creating the empire waist. His contribution to fashion is still visible in the way we dress today. He inspired a whole generation of young designers (some of whom he even taught), like Oscar de la Renta, André Courrèges, Emanuel Ungaro and Hubert de Givenchy (who was at the opening yesterday), so it is only fitting that his work gets a proper place in fashion history. He died in 1972.
The museum occupies more than 5,000 square metres of a 19th century palace in Getaria previously owned by Belgium’s Queen Fabiola’s grandparents, to which a modern wing has been added. There’s also an extra space where contemporary exhibitions will be held alongside the permanent one.
I can only dream of what the gift shop would be like… Balenciaga handbags galore? If you’re ever in the Basque area, you know what to do!
Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa
Aldamar Parkea, 6
20808 Getaria – Gipuzkoa