Most of us know Balenciaga through the talented Nicholas Ghesquiere who designed the iconic motorcycle bag. Very few know that the man after whom the house was named was a masterful couturier, revered and feared by apprentices like Ungaro who went on to head up their own houses. Said Ungaro, ”Balenciaga was a fisherman’s son, but he possessed the soul and mannerisms of a king.”
Ungaro’s work shows the influence of his mentor, who designed this extraordinary black cape of crumpled black gazar that wraps around the head like a huge rose, then falls in a crush around the body, clad in a narrow stem of black crepe. The effect was enigmatic. Photo from Vogue, September 1967.