Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, Guetaria, San Sebastian 1895–1972 Javea)
Gift of Mrs. William Woodward Jr., 1973
Not on view
Balenciaga was a designer of some conservatism, closing down his business the same year he made this coat, in part in protest against the debased taste and vulgarity of the time. His last collections are characterized by intensity of color and form. In this, the fashion designer’s equivalent to “The Whiteness of the Whale,” Balenciaga made a colorfield painting, or even a shaped canvas, with the purity of white or cream.