'Haute Couture is like an orchestra, whose conductor is Balenciaga. We other Couturiers are the musicians and we follow the direction he gives.' Christian Dior The enigmatic Spanish couturier, Christobal Balenciaga 1895-1972 is a legendary figure in the history of twentieth-century fashion. His name is a byword for clothes executed to the highest standards and characterized by their sculptural quality, the deft manipulation of textiles and the dramatic use of colour. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion offers a thorough introduction to the couturier's fashion philosophy, design and business practices, with particular reference to garments in the V&A collection. It places his extraordinary output in the context of his time and provides an overview of his lasting legacy.