Most helpful positive review
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2007
M. Balenciaga was a master couturier so lacking today as one considers haute couture, especially, as the French houses of haute couture are virtually gone. At the time of M. Balenciaga's impact from the 1930s through 1968 when he closed his Parisian house, there were many more houses of haute couture. He, like Chanel, Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Mainbocher, Jacques Fath, Schiaparelli, Vionnet, and Gres to name a few, flourished as women from around the globe turned to the tradition and process of the haute couture as the pinnacle of what it meant to being well-dressed. Out of this number, the creations of M. Balenciaga stand-out. There is that certain something about his work which commands and rivets the attention. Yes, unquestionably elegant, imbued with masterful design, quality, and exacting a nobility for the wearer which she may or may not have actually possessed, but still whenever I view his creations I think to myself "more". Unlike today where being anonymous seems to be the rule of what passes for style, M. Balenciaga assured a woman would never be forgotten. This volume pays homage to that certain something and begs the question "where are the contemporary talents?" At the moment, in Paris there are only in my view, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and Valentino. These individuals know how to dress their haute couture clients (especially, those not wishing to dress perennially 18 years old) whereas the remaining haute couture houses present nothing but a media circus, for too long lead by that dreadful costumier posing as a couturier at Christian Dior. For the sheer pleasure of pondering something beautiful, I recommend this volume as well as Balenciaga by Marie-Andrée Jouve and Jacqueline Demornex published in 1991.