HomeFashionWATCH: Rivalries, secret gay love affairs, and iconic fashions unspool in the...

WATCH: Rivalries, secret gay love affairs, and iconic fashions unspool in the story of Cristóbal Balenciaga


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Image Credit: ‘Cristóbal Balenciaga,’ Disney+

In the words of American Horror Story‘s powerful witch Myrtle Snow: BALENCIAGAAAAAA!

You know the name. The work of famed Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga is downright iconic. And we know that’s an overused word these days, but it really applies here: The man’s inventive, stitch-perfect designs shook up the French-dominated fashion scene in the ’50s and ’60s, pushing couture style in a bold new direction.

And though he passed in 1977, his legacy lives on through the luxury fashion house which still bears his name and has remained coveted among celebrities, stylists, and trend-setters everywhere.

Now, his story finally receives the long-deserved biopic treatment in the upcoming Spanish-language Disney+ series Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Image Credit: ‘Cristóbal Balenciaga,’ Disney+

Madrid-born actor Alberto San Juan portrays the acclaimed designer who, after working for ateliers and dressing the Spanish elite, finally makes the leap to presenting his first haute couture collection in Paris in 1937—which is where our story begins.

While his designs broke the mold in Spain, they weren’t exactly deemed fit or the sophisticated high society of France, where he contemporaries like Coco Chanel and Christian Dior has set the style a la mode.

Ever the perfectionist, the initial rejection only inspired Balenciaga to work harder, better—doing whatever it would take to become the best of the best.

Recently, Disney+ shared a first-look trailer of the series, which certainly delivers in the fashion department: eye-popping look after eye-popping look take center stage in the sumptuous teaser. Curiously, we don’t see a ton of Balenciaga himself, but we certainly hear a great deal about his style philosophy courtesy of a voiceover.

Image Credit: ‘Cristóbal Balenciaga,’ Disney+

And then there are the main men in Balenciaga’s life—the designer was gay, though he kept it private for most of his life—both briefly seen in the trailer.

It’s said the love of his life was Franco-Polish millionaire Wladzio D’Attainville (played by Thomas Coumans), who used to wealth to help the designer set up his fashion house. But Balenciaga also had a love affair with Ramón Esparza (Adam Quintero), a milliner who studied under him. We’ll be curious to see how much the series will delve into these romances and the designer’s sexuality.

The original series is said to begin streaming globally via Disney+ on January 19. You can watch the official trailer (with English subtitles) below:

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