Coat, House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937), wool, French


Design House:
House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)
Cristobal Balenciaga (Spanish, Guetaria, San Sebastian 1895–1972 Javea)
ca. 1965
Credit Line:
Gift of Countess Edward Bismarck, 1981
Accession Number:
Not on view
Since the 1970s both the producers and consumers of fur fashions have come under criticism by animal-welfare organizations. Several designers have responded to this antifur initiative by promoting fake fur as an ethical alternative to real fur. In the 1960s Cristobal Balenciaga, driven less by ethics than by aesthetics, experimented with textiles and techniques that imitated the look and feel of fur. In this coat he employed Papacha, a mohair developed by Lida and Zika Ascher in 1965 that is knotted by hand to give the impression of tufts of fur.
Marking: [label] "Balenciaga, Paris"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "WILD: Fashion Untamed," December 7, 2004–March 13, 2005.

Musée de la Mode et du Textile. "Balenciaga," July 4, 2006–January 28, 2007.

Musée de la Mode et du Textile. "Balenciaga Paris," July 4, 2006–January 28, 2007.

de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Balenciaga and Spain," March 26, 2011–July 4, 2011.