Cristóbal Balenciaga was born in Spain in 1895. He opened his first boutique in San Sebastián in 1919, but was forced to close it when the Spanish Civil War broke out. He then moved to Paris and opened his couture house in 1937, which he would head until his retirement in1968. Balenciaga went on to dress some of the most iconic women in fashion, including the Duchess of Windsor, Pauline de Rothschild, Prince Grace of Monaco, and Diana Vreeland. Nicolas Ghesquière has been the creative director of Balenciaga since 1997.

Balenciaga and Spain was published by Skira Rizzoli in March 2011. This publication accompanies the first exhibition to consider the impact of Spain's culture, history, and art on Balenciaga. Inspirations range from religious dress and ceremony, royal history, regional costume, and dance traditions to the art of Picasso, Goya, and Velázquez and the extravagance of bullfighting. Balenciaga and Spain was written by Hamish Bowles, the European editor at large for Vogue.

Balenciaga and Spain is featured in Edition: Rizzoli: Fashion

Spanish Chasuble of Linen, Silk, and Metal Thread, 1725–1775. Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, gift of Archer M. Huntington
Cocktail Hat of Black Silk Taffeta With Crimson Silk Rose, ca. 1955, Collection of Hamish Bowles. copyright Loomis Deen-Time Life Pictures-Getty Images
Courtesy of Craig McDean