reinventing the 20th century silhouette

Antwerp's ModeMuseum announces new exhibition heavily focussed on the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga.

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Jan 28 2016, 10:08am

Cristobal Balenciaga, autumn/winter 67, Photo courtesy Balenciaga Archives

Set to open in Antwerp's ModeMuseum this April, "Game Changers - Reinventing the 20th century silhouette" will explore the groundbreaking work of Cristóbal Balenciaga. Having radicalised fashion in the mid 20th century with his new voluminous silhouettes and innovative architectural cuts, Balenciaga offered the body the freedom and movement it had been craving, in rebellion to the unforgiving hourglass shapes popular at the time.

Comme des Garçons, Body meets Dress, Dress meets Body, sping/summer 97, Photography Yannis Vlamos

Whilst Balenciaga was adopting this new perspective, designers from Japan (Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons) and Belgium (Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela) were also pioneering change, experimenting with the boundaries of the female silhouette. In turn, their avant-garde, abstract designs shook up the norm, challenging the pre-conceived constructs of fashion.

Whilst Balenciaga is the central figure, the exhibition looks at over 100 influential couture and ready-to-wear silhouettes along with pivotal collections such as Rei Kawakubo's SS97 "Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body". Arriving just after VETEMENTS' head designer Demna Gvsalia takes the reigns at Balenciaga - a sure game changer in its own right - "Game Changers - Reinventing the 20th century silhouette" is open from April to August and promises to inspire.