The Couturier’s Life: Balenciaga and Givenchy

Silvia Di Iorio
Fashion Week is essentially centered around runway shows for future collections. Last Wednesday evening at the McCord museum, we took a step back in fashion history. Two of the most prestigious designers of the 20th century were celebrated in brilliant documentaries: “Cristóbal Balenciaga – Endurance in an Ephemeral World” and “Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy”.

It was an public event hosted by MFW22. The turnout was slightly overwhelming, as there were more people than the small space could comfortably accommodate for the films showings. Nonetheless, it was a success and really great to see such interest in history. During the hour between both documentaries, fashionistas enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres. Meanwhile, the museum’s Head of Collections and Research for Costume and Textiles,  Cynthia Cooper, gave a brief presentation of the night’s showings with a picture slideshow.

Balenciaga and Givenchy

To say the least, the documentaries were incredibly inspirational. We got a glimpse into the personal and professional lives of Balenciaga and Givenchy themselves. With their dreams, hard work, and perseverance, they not only built the fashion empires that we know and love today, but they also laid the basis for modernity and innovative engineering in clothing. It was really interesting to see the evolution of the ideology of fashion throughout their respective careers. Furthermore, their friendship and admiration for one another’s work really unified both documentaries.

What a lovely evening, thanks to MFW22 and the McCord museum. Several dresses from Balenciaga and Givenchy, among many other incredible designers, are permanently on display at the museum for public viewing.

Photocredit (thumbnail): McCord MuseuAve.,Montreal, about 1960, MP-1987.15.5013 Photo-shoot for Jane Harris, Pine

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