Balenciaga returning to haute couture

Balenciaga is gearing up to reintroduce haute couture.The luxury fashion brand hasn’t produced a couture collection since label founder Cristobal Balenciaga, a master couturier and inspiration to the likes of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, closed his …

Balenciaga is gearing up to reintroduce haute couture.

The luxury fashion brand hasn’t produced a couture collection since label founder Cristobal Balenciaga, a master couturier and inspiration to the likes of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, closed his Paris-based atelier in 1968. Balenciaga died at the age of 77 in 1972.

However, current creative director Demna Gvasalia, who joined in 2015, announced on Monday that he will be bringing back the high-end range in July.

“Haute couture is the very foundation of this house,” the designer said in a statement. “So, it is my creative and visionary duty to bring couture back to Balenciaga. For me, couture is an unexplored mode of creative freedom and a platform for innovation. It not only offers another spectrum of possibilities in dressmaking, it also brings the modern vision of Balenciaga back to its sources of origin. Couture is above trends. It’s an expression of beauty on the highest aesthetic and qualitative levels.”

Georgia-born Gvasalia did not announce when or where he will unveil his debut couture line. Yet, it is likely to be aligned with Paris Couture Week, which takes place from 3 – 7 July.

And Cedric Charbit, president and chief executive officer of Balenciaga, is looking forward to seeing what the 38-year-old dreams up.

“It’s an honour to bring back the haute couture to the house, highlighting the heritage of Cristobal Balenciaga. This project was possible due to the success of the creative vision of Demna Gvasalia as well as the exceptional results of Balenciaga these past few years,” he shared. “Establishing a dedicated team and atelier replicating the original salons at the historical address 10 Avenue George V represents a strategic step in further expansions. Coming back to the haute couture that was left off by Cristobal Balenciaga in 1968 links the house’s past, present, and future.”

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Valentino and Diane von Furstenberg pay tribute to designer Emanuel Ungaro

Valentino Garavani and Diane von Furstenberg have paid tribute to French designer Emanuel Ungaro following his death. The fashion star, who founded his eponymous couture house in 1965 and retired from it in 2004, died in Paris, France at the age of 86…

Valentino Garavani and Diane von Furstenberg have paid tribute to French designer Emanuel Ungaro following his death.

The fashion star, who founded his eponymous couture house in 1965 and retired from it in 2004, died in Paris, France at the age of 86 on Saturday. A number of his fellow designers subsequently paid tribute, with Garavani describing him as a “great and generous friend” to WWD.

“Always with a smile and with a kindness very rare in this fashion world. His colours, his draping and the fantasy he put in every dress, deserve a very important place in the history of fashion,” he praised.

Von Furstenberg told the publication Ungaro’s death was “a very sad thing” and added, “Ungaro reminds me of my youth…of happy, sexy printed dresses,” while Alber Elbaz said he “knew him, adored him and loved him”.

Milliner Stephen Jones paid tribute via Instagram by sharing a photo of one of their collaborations and writing in the caption, “So sad to hear of the passing of the magnificent #emanuelungaro @emanuelungaroparis. To work with him was extraordinary.”

Model Marisa Berenson shared a throwback image of Ungaro fitting her in a dress and described him as a “beautiful, refined and generous man”.

“He was one of the greatest designers of his generation and will go down in fashion history,” she continued. “Thank you dear Emanuel for having been the friend that you were, you are in my thoughts and in my heart.”

Ungaro, who was born in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1933, got his start in fashion by working as an assistant to a Sicilian tailor. He then spent six years learning from legendary Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga before creating his own fashion house in Paris.

He quickly became a success with his feminine designs, colourful draping, and bold prints, with one of his first clients being former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Notable creative directors of the Emanuel Ungaro brand have included Giambattista Valli, Peter Dundas, Giles Deacon, and Fausto Puglisi.

Ungaro is survived by his wife, Laura, and a daughter, Cosima.

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