'Balenciaga, l'oeuvre au noir'

Balenciaga, Black crepe dress, 1964 (back view). Collection Palais Galliera - © E. Emo et A. Llaurency / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

Balenciaga, Black crepe dress, 1964 (back view). Collection Palais Galliera - © E. Emo et A. Llaurency / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

Spanish Season - A Palais Galliera extra-mural exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle

From March 8th to July 16th 2017

Extra muros

The Palais Galliera is paying homage to the couturier Cristobal Balenciaga (1865-1972) with an extra-mural exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle entitled : 'Balenciaga, l'oeuvre au noir'. The exhibition resonates with the black tones of an alchemist of haute couture : variations of black repeated in over a hundred of pieces from the Galliera collections and the archives of Maison Balenciaga. This exhibition opens the Palais Galliera’s Spanish season, which will continue with 'Costumes espagnols entre ombre et lumière' (‘Spanish costumes from dark to bright’) at the Maison de Victor Hugo (21 June - 24 September 2017) and will finish with 'Mariano Fortuny' at the Palais Galliera (4 October - 7 January 2018).

The Palais Galliera pays a tribute to Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895 – 1972), the most “Couture” of Couturiers, with an exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle entitled “Balenciaga, l'oeuvre au noir”.

The exhibition resounds with a black harmony of an Haute Couture alchemist. Black motivated Balenciaga : the backbone of his work was inspired by the folklore and traditions of his Spanish childhood. Black was this exceptionally skilled tailor's preference. Black was a monastic influence on the master, about whom Dior once said: “Clothes were his religion”. Balenciaga saw black as a vibrant matter whether it be opaque or transparent, matt or shiny - a dazzling interplay of light, that owes as much to the luxurious quality of the fabrics as to the apparent simplicity of the cut. A lace highlight, embroidery, guipure, a heavy drape of silk velvet and, hey presto, you have a skirt, a bolero, a mantilla, a cape reinvented as a coat, a coat tailored as a cape… …Every piece is magnificent, from day clothes to cocktail dresses and sumptuous evening outfits lined in silk taffeta, edged with fringes, decorated with satin ribbons, jet beads, sequins… more than hundred couture variations of black are the treasures of the Galliera collections and the Maison Balenciaga's archives.

The exhibition is located in the Musée Bourdelle where the sculptures mirror the pure sculptural effect of Cristobal Balenciaga's stunning creations.

Curator : Véronique Belloir, Curator of haute-couture collections – Palais Galliera



Extra muros exhibition:
Musée Bourdelle (Paris 15e)

Visitor information


Full rate 10 € l Reduced rate 7 € l Free under 18

Cash and charge (except American Express) 

In application of the Plan Vigipirate (anti-terrorist security plan), luggages are not allowed. There is no cloakroom inside the museum. The Palais Galliera's team is not authorized to keep the personal effects of the visitors. We thank you to submit you to the controls set up to assure your safety. We wish you a good visit.

Accessibility's exhibition:

- Visitors with a disability
Ticket website:
Ticket access

18, rue Antoine Bourdelle 75015 Paris 
Phone : 01 49 54 73 73

Opening hours :
Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Closed on Mondays and public holidays. 

Access : 
Métro : Montparnasse - Bienvenue (line 4, 6, 12 and 13) or Falguière (lige 12)
Bus : 28, 58, 82, 89, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96
Vélib' : 26, avenue du Maine or in front of 138, rue du Cherche Midi
Autolib' : 4 Avenue du Maine, 16 rue de l'Arrivée, 20 Boulevard de Vaugirard

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