Cristòbal Balenciaga hated talking about himself, so much so that he gave only one interview in his entire life. Yet that’s not why it’s hard to tell who he really was. Coco Chanel called him “the only couturier”, the only one able to sew and assemble the clothes he created. Alberto San Juan will step into the shoes of one of the most iconic designers of all time in the original Disney + Balenciaga series (working title).
San Juan has twice won the Goya Award: Best Actor for Under the Stars (Bajo las estrellas, 2008) and Best Supporting Actor for Sentimental (2021). He also has a prolific theatrical career to his credit: founder of the Animalario Company, he starred in plays such as Alejandro y Ana and Marat Sade, for which he was nominated as best actor, and Tito Andronicus. San Juan said: “Being part of this project is an honor. It is a challenge for everyone. As it always is, but this time a little more. It is almost like making three films in four months, in different languages ​​and with a an interval of a few decades between the beginning and the end. In a nutshell: it is an emotion! “. To support him in the series, a team led by the creators of Loreak (Flowers), Handia and The infinite trench (winners of 13 Goya Awards), Jose Mari Goegana, Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi, screenwriters together with Lourdes Iglesias and directors of this series which portrays an enigmatic man with an extraordinary talent who challenged the social conventions of his time and revolutionized the world of fashion. “As soon as Alberto San Juan auditioned, we immediately understood that we had found our Cristóbal Balenciaga. He is the absolute protagonist, present in almost every scene in the series. He plays a stylist, which involves learning to sew and handle fabrics. “recalled Goenaga, Garaño and Arregi. The series tells the story of a man who dares to challenge his social status as the son of a seamstress and a fisherman. Thanks to his natural talent, constant work and his business acumen, Balenciaga becomes one of the most important fashion designers of all time. Obsessed with the search for his own authorship, between the voices that judge his work and the loneliness that comes from being an artist, the public will witness the constant deconstruction and reconstruction of the great losses of this master: his life partner, his mother and his country. Originally from the Basque country and stylist of the Spanish aristocracy until the civil war, Balenciaga never forgot his homeland: even after moving to Paris in 1937, he continued to pay homage to Spain, introducing high fashion references to the art of Velázquez and flamenco.
“Balenciaga founded the future of fashion”, said the famous photographer Cecil Beaton, recalling his revolution of the female silhouette, thanks to linear and rigorous shapes, often inspired by architecture. In the 1950s, she presented clothes that became part of the history of fashion. “When a woman dressed in Balenciaga enters a room, all the others disappear”, Diana Vreeland loved to repeat. There are a lot of celebrities of the time who choose her clothes (like Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy) and Queen Fabiola of Belgium asks him to design the dress she will wear at her wedding
In the series, costume designer Bina Daigeller, nominated for an Oscar for live-action film Walt Disney Studios Mulan, and model maker Pepo Ruiz Dorado head a department of 30 people who are recreating the designs of the master of Getaria. It takes place in the period from the Spanish Civil War to the early 1970s, and will be shot on over 90 sets in Spain and France. (HANDLE).