Coal and velvet. Views on popular costumes by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga | ITSLIQUID

Coal and velvet. Views on popular costumes by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga

Fashion | January 18, 2017 |

Coal and velvet. Views on popular costumes by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga_001Image courtesy of Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa

Coal and velvet. Views on popular costumes by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, Getaria
From 7 October 2016 to 7 May 2017 

Carbon and Velvet” explores the artistic-documentary vision and aesthetic revision of traditional attire by Cristóbal Balenciaga, in his Haute Couture creations, and by Ortiz Echagüe in his photographic portraits of traditional Spain. The work of these two artists converses to offer interpretations of a reality, that of the traditional costume, which ceased to exist as far back as the early decades of the 20th century and to which both, through works of undeniable artistic quality, lend validity and a timeless quality.

 Coal and velvet. Views on popular costumes by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga_002Image courtesy of Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa


The title “Carbon and Velvet” refers to elements inextricably linked to the trades and knowhow of the two names headlining this exhibition: José Ortiz Echagüe and Cristóbal Balenciaga. Carbon forms part of the photographic printing technique used by Echagüe and refers to the dark black, predominant in articles of traditional attire, for which Balenciaga had great predilection. Not to forget its connection to the primary sector, to the harshness of the earth, to work in the fields. Velvet, in contrast, is a luxurious fabric, favoured by the well-to-do classes. A material specific to the context of haute couture used by Balenciaga on many occasions.


Coal and velvet. Views on popular costumes by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga_003Image courtesy of Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa


During the tour of the exhibition and the three galleries in which more than 80 works by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga are exhibited, visitors will discover the takes of these artists on the traditional costume, and the way each of them, from their discipline, set about updating and reinterpreting it.

 Coal and velvet. Views on popular costumes by Ortiz Echagüe and Balenciaga_004Image courtesy of Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa


The thread of the exhibition is precisely the traditional costume, an element which, although not physically present in the galleries, provides the backbone of the discourse and marks the itinerary, lending a theme to each room, each display cabinet. From the exhibition point of view, the traditional costume is a reality which gained special prominence with the birth and development of photography.




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