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“Dress Me Up. From High Fashion to Art”, a look at fashion trends from the last 130 years, arrives at Basauri

Basauri’s Ariz Tower will host “Dress Me Up. From High Fashion to Art” (“Vísteme. De la Alta Costura al arte” ) starting on December 15th. The concept of the show, put together by Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP), Bancaja and the Basauri City Council, is a look at fashion trends from the last 130 years.

Rather than present visitors a chronological journey through the different styles that have reigned in so-called “high-range” fashion from 1870 to present, the exhibition, open until January 13th, displays works grouped by aesthetic criteria.

More than fifty high fashion pieces by “top” national and international designers like Cristóbal Balenciaga, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel and Christian Dior can be seen at this show, according to the exhibition’s curator, Lola Roma.

Charles Frederick Worth, who created the concept of “designer” and is considered the 19th century’s first couturier, is represented by two pieces, from 1870 and 1885, that embody the period’s “grand lady” prototype, whose greatest exponents were Eugénie de Montijo, Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna and Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria.

Another designer who marked his period was Paquin, whose clients, among others, were Anita Delgado, the Spanish dancer who married the last Maharaja of Kapurtala. This exhibition holds a Paquin blue chiffon velvet tunic with rhinestone adornment from 1910.

Cristóbal Balenciaga, a seminal high fashion figure both in Spain and abroad, is represented by a six-piece series that spans his earliest works up to the 1960s, when he left his fashion house because he didn’t consider himself “made for” the imposing rise of ready-to-wear fashion.

Pieces by international designers, mostly French, are also in abundant display. Along these lines, we find the simple style of Chanel, representative of the women’s revolution, the chic of Christian Dior and the timeless elegance of Jacques Fath contrasted with Giorgio Armani’s minimalism and Gian Franco Ferré’s architectural style.

The “Dress Me Up. From High Fashion to Art” project highlights the artisanship that goes into making many of these designs, both in the seemingly simpler creations and the more elaborate ones involving sequins and crystal. It also emphasises the use of black, which went from a colour exclusively used in clothing for mourning to being considered a “basic” in 20th century fashion.

This exhibition represents a definitive attempt to illustrate how women have changed over the past 130 years, from grand ladies in corsets who needed maids to get dressed to today’s women expected to create the best look imaginable with a simple change of accessories.

The opening hours of this travelling exhibit will be 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM from Monday to Saturday and 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Sundays and bank holidays. The exhibition will be closed to the public on December 25th and January 1st.

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