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20 November 2019The Magic of Cristobal Balenciaga, Master of San Sebastian
04 December 2019Giles: His life, Times and cartoons. 11am at the Sovereign Suite, Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
22 January 2020The Art & Science of the Lunar Society
19 February 2020Imperial Purple To Denim Blue: The Colourful History of Textiles
18 March 2020The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree & Traditional Arts In Kosovo

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The Magic of Cristobal Balenciaga, Master of San Sebastian Anne Haworth Wednesday 20 November 2019

Cristobal Balenciaga was born in 1895, the son of a seamstress, in San Getaria, a fishing village in Northern Spain.  After training in Madrid, he opened a successful boutique in the Basque town of San Sebastian.  Following the events of the Spanish Civil War and attracted by the sartorial magnetism of the French capital, he moved to Paris where he opened a couture house on the prestigious Avenue George V.  During a stellar career in Paris, he was the darling of American fashion editors, such as Vogue magazine’s Bettina Ballard and dressed the royalty and nobility of Europe.  He created innovative silhouettes which reshaped the female form and always retained an uncompromising desire for perfection.  Many of his unique designs referenced his Spanish heritage of flamenco, the Catholic Church, the world of the matador and the art of Velazquez.  This gifted, distinguished yet enigmatic courtier was honoured by Christian Dior as ‘The Master of us all’.

Anne is a lecturer at the V&A. She is a guide for private tours of the State Rooms and The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace and lectures in British Painting for American students resident in London. In Autumn 2002 she catalogued the collection of Chinese porcelain at Kensington Palace. From 2002 2005, she was a committee member of the French Porcelain Society. From 1995 2002 she was resident in Shanghai, China and visited ancient kiln sites and lectured to expatriate groups. From 1981 to 1995 Anne trained and became a senior ceramics specialist at Christie's and Bonhams head offices.


image: Black taffeta cocktail dress designed by Balenciaga 1951