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Cristóbal Balenciaga 2024 / Rich attention to detail makes this series as strong and elegant as any traditional Balenciaga dress

7.4

When Cristobal Balenciaga was in his prime, the courtier was lauded for his technique. More than anything, his dedication to the tiniest detail of dressmaking, not just design, made his sculptural dresses stand out. This titular miniseries about his years in Paris is made in the same vein. It has a strong foundational form, from smart camerawork and beautiful lighting to period-accurate backdrops and tight storytelling. But it has plenty of substance too as it’s clearly, and endearingly, in love with haute couture. Every scene is dripping with elegance, and every gown (even the supposed bad ones!) is so gorgeous that you must pause and take a moment to marvel at it. But perhaps the most impressive thing about the series is that it doesn’t shy away from history; in fact, it welcomes it fully, even the controversial parts of Balenciaga’s past. What we get isn’t a glorified icon, but a flawed human being who is all the more resplendent in his wholeness.

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