Cristóbal Balenciaga: una singular política de comunicación frente al avance del Prêt-à-porter
Cristobal Balenciaga
Materias Investigacion::Comunicación::Periodismo, comunicación de masas, medios de comunicación y edición.
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BALDA-ARANA, Ana. "Cristóbal Balenciaga: una singular política de comunicación frente al avance del Prêt-à-porter". Latorre Izquierdo, J. (dir.). Tesis doctoral. Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, 2013.
This thesis focuses on the particular relationship Cristobal Balenciaga had with the media. It begins with an event in the history of fashion that had no known precedent: in 1956, against the usual practice stipulated by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the governing body that sets all standards of French couture, Balenciaga decided to delay his fashion shows for the press until one month after those held for his clients, department store purchasing agents, and wholesalers. This decision outraged the press. Influential journalists criticized his position and credited his attitude to his enigmatic and mysterious character, and to his aversion to the press and publicity. This view of Balenciaga has persisted and still premeates the literature on the designer. But a careful reading of these reviews shows a certain degree of parciality as they focus on Balenciaga, the individual and his character, without seeking other possible motives. This thesis begins on the premise that other explanations to justify Balenciaga's position may be found if the designer is studied from the broader perspective of his work context. This goal has led to a study from two complementary, rather than mutually exclusive, perspectives that explain the division of the thesis into two parts. The first studies Balenciaga¿s own profile and includes his biography, the artistic and professional influence of Chanel and Vionnet on his career, his Spanish inspiration, and the peculiarities of his way of life and world values. The research, from this perspective, does not conclude that Balenciaga hated the press due to his sour character; but rather it reveals, above all, the marked creative personality of the Basque couturier. The second part of the thesis studies the designer's work context: the peculiarities of the Haute Couture business; the power the fashion press had reached in the middle of the 1950s; the figure of Dior as direct and most important competitor of Balenciaga; and the prominence achieved by photographers and models in the fashion market during his life. Research on these issues reveals the real causes of the designer's attitude toward the press. The main conclusion of this thesis is that Balenciaga's decision in 1956, and his policy with respect to appearing in the media, did not respond to any eccentricity or peculiarity of character, but rather to a business strategy to protect his designs from the proliferation of illegal copies. Moreover, the ripple effect of his aesthetic through the collections of Christian Dior, often inspired by Cristobal Balenciaga, was also another reason which explains his moderate appearances in the media. Another cause of Balenciaga¿s attitude was his vision of fashion: the couturier disliked that the fashion press replaced the emphasis on the art of dressmaking with the quest for originality in photographs, or the beauty of models, thus supplanting the Parisian couturiers as trendmakers and fomenting the ready-to-wear market.

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