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'China edition' blends past with present

By Sun Yuanqing | China Daily | Updated: 2014-05-12 13:36
'China edition' blends past with present

A Chinese version of Balenciaga's spring/summer 2014 collection will be shown on Beijing's runway. Photo provided to China Daily


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Balenciaga's creative director Alexander Wang plans to debut a collection exclusive to the Chinese market. Sun Yuanqing reports.

More than one year after Alexander Wang took the reins at Balenciaga as creative director, the designer is tailoring a special event for his Chinese customers, along with exclusive designs.

Bridging the label's past and present, the Balenciaga China Edition event in Beijing on Thursday will present a new version of the spring/summer 2014 fashion show, along with an exhibition of some iconic pieces from the house archive hand-picked by Wang.

"I wanted to share the history and tremendous energy at Balenciaga with the modern audience in China," Wang says in an interview with China Daily via e-mail. "My hope is that the 'China Edition' project will be a significant event combining the past, present and future."

The evening will start by revisiting the past with an exhibition of about 40 pieces of garments and jewelry, including four iconic dresses: the minimal "Wedding Dress" of 1967 in ivory silk gazar, "L'Infante" in ivory satin silk and black velvet, the sculptured cape "Choux" from 1968 in black gazar and the "Baby Doll" dress from 1958.

The event will be set in a church, in a nod to the faith of Cristobal Balenciaga, the Spanish founder of the label who was inspired by the religious culture of his homeland.

The idea behind the exhibition, Wang says, is to show how Cristobal Balenciaga's designs are as radical today as when they were first presented in the salons.

"There is a timeless modernity in each Cristobal Balenciaga piece that's inspiring to see in person, with the details up close," Wang says.

"Growing up, I had seen Balenciaga in photographs and books. But when I first visited the Cristobal Balenciaga archives in Paris and had the opportunity to see the original creations, I was even more inspired. It's this feeling of discovery and excitement that I hope to share with a larger audience in Beijing."

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