#315 Balenciaga

Episode Summary

What I learned from reading Creators: From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney by Paul Johnson.

Episode Notes

What I learned from reading Creators: From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney by Paul Johnson. 


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(2:20) Among the masters of Parisian fashion, Balenciaga was the greatest.

(3:00) Christian Dior called Balenciaga “the master of us all" and Coco Chanel said that Balenciaga was "the only couturier in the truest sense of the word. The others are simply fashion designers".

(3:30) Jay Gould episodes #258 and #285 

(5:00) For the next seventy-four years Balenciaga did a piece of sewing every day of his life.

(5:20) Being prolific is underrated. — Paul Graham (Founders #314)

(8:45) From the age of three to his mid-twenties he learned thoroughly every aspect of his trade.

(17:00) Bernard Arnault (Founders #296)

(23:00) What Dior told Boussac: What you need, and I would like to run, is a craftsman’s workshop, in which we would recruit the very best people in the trade, to reestablish in Paris a salon for the greatest luxury and the highest standards of workmanship. It will cost a great deal of money and entail much risk.”

(26:00) Balenciaga never commented on other designers.

(28:00) Balenciaga had a religious like devotion to his craft: Balenciaga regarded making dresses as a vocation, like the priesthood, and an act of worship. He felt that he served God by suitably adorning the female form, which God had made beautiful.

(29:00) Customers were called patrons.

(30:00) His remoteness was not a pose but part of his dedication to his art. He worked fanatically hard.

(31:00) His fundamental principles as a dressmaker:

Make women happy. Make dresses the customer never wants to take off.

Permanence. You should bequeath your dress to your daughter. And her to her daughter.

Best material from the best textile creators.

(33:00) You don’t wear a Balenciaga dress, you present it. (Make up your own terms!)

(35:00) The essence of his creations was the work of human hands, bringing into existence the images projected on paper from his powerful and inventive brain. The archives of his firm survive intact, and they reveal the extent to which everything was done by hand:

(37:00) Cut against the bias.


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