“Balenciaga alone is a couturier in the truest sense of the word…the rest are just designers.”  Coco Chanel

FRANCE – CIRCA 1927: Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972), spanish couturier. France, 1927. LIP-12272. (Photo by Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

The Kimbell Art Museum did it again!  They brought a once in a lifetime art exhibit to our city….“Balenciaga in Black.”  This stylish exhibit explores the creative genius of Spanish fashion designer, Cristobal Balenciaga. You can view his masterful pieces from the Galleria Collection and the Balenciaga archives at the museum’s Piano Pavilion now through January 6.   

Since the color black served as the guiding principal for the legendary dressmaker, we were inspired to follow his lead.  Like his Galleria Collection, let’s start with black cocktail dresses and party styles. Our favorite Pinterest board pick is a lace dress with layers of ruffles at the hem designed by Oscar de la Renta.  You will definitely want to view some of the gorgeous black cocktail dresses from Neiman Marcus on our Pinterest board!

To give your all-black style a contemporary vibe, we suggest wearing a pantsuit.  An “uptown girl” look on our Pinterest board features a black pantsuit complemented with a lace blouse.  For a sophisticated party look, we are loving black leather pants paired with an off-the-shoulder sweater….just add purple heels for a pop of color and a little sass!  Ready or not party season…here we come!!!

Haute Couture:  The definition of “haute” is…fashionably elegant or high class, and “couture” translates literally from French as dressmaking.  If you are planning to attend this year’s Jewel Charity Ball and want to look fashionably elegant, we suggest a black evening gown.  A gorgeous dress from Nordstrom’s by Eliza J features a lavish satin bow elegantly draped over the single shoulder of a luxe black-velvet gown.  And we are sharing more “high class” styles on our Pinterest board.

Orlew Lauger, Kimbell Art Museum docent, recently gave our P.E.O. chapter a private viewing of the Balenciaga collection.  To pay tribute to the master, our members wore black to the luncheon and tour. My ensemble included a pair of black waxed pants, a black blouse with bow cuffs, and a black blazer….all complemented with black booties and handbag.  And of course…our P.E.O. chapter members saluted Mr. Balenciaga in a most fashionable way!

Though wearing all black is very elegant, it can also be worn in a casual way.  How comfy are a pair of black leather leggings, sweater, and jacket matched with black sneakers? And for a pop of fun, add a black and white checked scarf! We are also loving a black teddy-bear jacket worn with leather pants and black Nike’s.  With black you can easily achieve a casual, yet classic look!

Considering the amount of time, money, and skill allotted to each piece, “haute couture” garments are also described as having no price tag.  That being said, I highly recommend you visit the Balenciaga in Black Exhibit, because without a doubt….it’s priceless!


Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected].  Be sure to check out Holley’s updated Pinterest board here.