couture at the door

Fashion History: Cristóbal Balenciaga

Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1927.

Cristóbal Balenciaga was a brilliant fashion designer at his peak in the post-WWII years of the 1950s. He was known for highly tailored and beautiful evening gowns, as well as daywear and dresses without waistlines–but by no means shapeless. his works are still considered to be wearable art.

Balenciaga was born on January 21, 1895 in the fishing village of Getaria, Spain.

Jose Balenciaga Basurto and Martina Eisaguirre, 1880s.

Balenciaga grew up quite close to his mother. After the death of his father in 1906, and at the age of eleven, Cristóbal spent time with his seamstress mother, often helping her sew as she supported herself and her son.

Martina Eisaguirre Embil

Enjoying the act of sewing, Cristóbal went on to apprentice as a tailor at the age of twelve.

His work was noticed by a Noblewoman, the Marchioness de Casa Torres, Carolina Herrera.

Herrera was so taken with Balenciaga’s work that she sent him to Madrid to be formally trained, and became his patron. Herrera would often proudly wear his results.

Balenciaga became a success in Spain. In 1915, at only twenty, he opened his first couture house in the Summer resort town of San Sabastián, Spain. He named his firm Eisa, a shortened version of his mother’s maiden name, Eisaguerre. For the next fifteen years, Balenciaga was Spain’s leading couturier. He would make frequent visits to Paris, where he’d buy garments produced by top designers, including Coco Chanel, Madame Vionnet, and Elsa Schiaparelli, so that they would be deconstructed, in order to learn the techniques of other designers. Because of his magnificent designs, Balenciaga was favored by Spanish royalty, and they often commissioned his clothing.

By 1936, Balenciaga had opened two more boutiques in Madrid and Barcelona, but he had to flee the country for safety during the Spanish Civil War. He went to France, and, after some hesitation, moved to Paris.

Balenciaga opened his first couture fashion house in Paris on Avenue George V in August of 1937.

Cristóbal Balenciaga was a perfectionist. His dedication to tailoring was unmatched, except for Christian Dior and Charles James, and unlike most designers, Balenciaga more often than not did not sketch out his ideas, similar to Vionnet.  He did however, always start with the fabric first.

Example of when Balenciaga did sketch his ideas onto paper, with their results. Dress and coat ensemble, 1953.

Balenciaga would hold and feel the material, envisioning a garment; so much so that it wasn’t uncommon for him to lose sleep. Honoring the cloth was Balenciaga’s obsession, and if he couldn’t figure out a problem with making the material perfect, it simply did not become a dress. He would not allow an imperfect garment to leave his work room. Clothing, it could be said, was Balenciaga’s religion–even though he was a devout Catholic.

Balenciaga was also a very private man. He was introverted, preferring to work alone as his commissions, while the staff worked on fittings and dealing with customers.. He avoided fitting clients personally; he never met customers ace to face. Balenciaga also avoided publicity. He never once came out after a fashion show to bow after his fashion line ended in all the years he worked. It was clear he wanted anonymity in his personal life, and one reason could have been because he was gay. Balenciaga had a long time lover named Vladzio Zawrorowski d’Attainville, a milliner who helped Balenciaga set up in Paris.

Co-founder of the fashion house, Nicolas Bizcarrondo, Milliner and long time lover Vladzio Zawrorowski d'Attainville, and Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Sadly, Vladzio died in 1948, and Cristóbal, brokenhearted, wanted to close his business. The world was thankful he didn’t.

The designer, Chanel, chose not to out Balenciaga along with the others on her list, including Christian Dior, because she liked Balenciaga’s technical sewing skills. She believed he was one of the best designers in Paris.

It wasn’t until after WWII that Balenciaga really hit his stride. His firm produced hundreds of garments, many inspired by Spanish culture.

Balenciaga’s “Infanta Gown” was inspired by Spanish princesses of the 1600s.

His bolero jackets were based on bullfighters’ costumes.

Balenciaga’s clothes were so popular, they had people risking danger to travel to WWII torn Europe for his Square Coat.

Balenciaga invented a new silhouette for women. In the 1950s, when Christian Dior’s New Look was popular, Balenciaga went another direction. He sewed clothes to please himself, not necessarily his clients.

Balenciaga lowered waists, then raised them, such as this high waist evening dress from 1959-60.

He designed the Balloon jacket, such as this example from 1953.

Balloon skirted evening dress, 1952.

Balloon skirted evening dress, 1957.

Balenciaga invented the cocoon jacket.

He also invented the sack such as this one from 1957.

In 1958, Balenciaga created the Baby Doll dress, which is still popular today.

However, the designer soon began to see competition in the form of new fashion changes. In the 1960s, the ready-to-wear movement began taking serious hold, disrupting the old way of getting fitted for a uniquely sewn piece of clothing. Balenciaga wasn’t prepared to battle against the likes of the mini skirt, which was created–most likely by Mary Quant–during this time. So Balenciaga quit Haute Couture. He retired in 1968 and the House of Balenciaga closed its doors, Cristóbal going back to his home country.

He passed away on March 23, 1972, at the age of 77 in Xàbia, Spain.

The House of Balenciaga now belongs to Kering, a French multinational company, and is under the direction of Demna Gvasalia, where they continue to create beautiful works of wearable art to this day.

Balenciaga, Spring, 2017.

Cupcake - Bucky Barnes x Reader

Cupcake - (Bucky Barnes x Reader) - Continuation of ‘Skyline.’

Words - 2752

Warnings - None, I think.

AN - Part 3! Sorry for the delay everybody, I hope you all like it as much as your favourite song. 

Routine (Part 1) | Skyline (Part 2) 

Bucky isn’t sure what to do with himself, after you leave. About 11pm, he gently pulls open the door of Aria’s bedroom, seeing the girl curled up to one of her many cuddly toys. To this, the father smiles, not getting closer to disturb her.

Of course, it had been a complete shock, for her to come into the world. His fiance at the time had told him out of nowhere, and he helped to aid her for eight months. On that day, that she gave birth to the beautiful baby girl, she waited. Until Bucky fell asleep with the baby in his arms. From what he suspected, she went back to the apartment, took her things, and left. Just like that.

He didn’t know how to react. He cried, of course. For the loss of his love, for the loss of a mother to his child. Social Services was called, asking if he could really cope with his child. On that day, after he told them where to go, he vowed he would never let anyone take Aria away from him.

His hours were slightly longer, several babysitters bought in, and until she was old enough, he bought her to the nursery in the complex he worked in. The first day of school was a little tricky, with a few tears. But she learned. Women had approached, asked him on a date, maybe to see if it would work, but it never did.

He only had two rules when it came to girls, and the dating world - They had to like Aria, of course. They had to accept that she would be a part of their life, and love her just as much. And Aria had to like them. If she ever came to him, complaining, he would let them go. Instantly. She was number one in his life.

But, this had never happened. His daughter had never instantly found a woman, and taken a liking to her. And in all honesty, Bucky was intrigued. There was something about her that drew him in, and his girl was happy, too. He wanted to see her again. So badly.

If only he had got her number. 

Even so, he did have a plan. A little cunning, but it might of worked. He had googled the closing time of ‘Cupcake Couture,’ and found that it didn’t close until 8pm. That was enough time to pick up Aria, and drive over. Even if she wasn’t working, he could put in a request, right?

That was the thought he went with, when walking into his own bedroom. The room itself was large, completed with shades of grey across the entirety of the room. Sighing, he removed his shirt, trousers and tie, placing them in the washing bin, knowing the maid would be round in the morning to wash it. Out of the top drawer, he pulls out a T-Shirt, and some tracksuit bottoms, 

He gets changed, before climbing underneath his duvet, forming a starfish shape. Although he’s comfortable, warm, and everything else, he can’t help but drift off to sleep, with all the thoughts of Y/N still dancing around his head. 

Aria is the first to wake up in the morning. It’s early in the morning, and from the faint dim glow of her nightlight, she can see that it’s still pitch black outside her room. She grunts, and the five year old decides now she can’t sleep, unless she’s with her father. 

She pulls herself out of the blanket, clinging to her plush doll, and expertly works her way through the many toys littering her floor, and eventually reaches the door frame, and scampers out of her room, going down the corridor, and opening the door to her father’s room. 

He’s asleep by now, a small expression on his face. Aria shakes her head, walking across the room, and climbing onto the side that her father isn’t resting on. She takes a moment, before tapping her father’s arms for a few moments. No response. Instead, she shakes his arm, until he stirs, opening his eyes to see the young girl. 

“Aria?” He mumbles, sitting up a little. “You okay baby?” She shrugs, before Bucky sighs, lifting the blanket back, so she is able to climb into bed properly, feeling the warmth of her father, and curling into him.

Bucky smiles, rubbing her back gently, kissing her forehead. He knows for a fact his daughter dosen’t wake up in the middle of the night for no reason. Gently, he nudges her, so she looks up to meet her dad’s blue eyes. 

“What’s bugging you, dear?” He asks, stroking her cheek. Aria shrugs, beginning to talk.

“Are we gonna see Miss Y/N again?” She asks, playing with her doll in her lap. Bucky raises his eyebrows, surprised by her talk again. 

“Not if you don’t want to-”

“No!” She retaliated, her voice a little louder now. “I wanna see her again daddy, I like her. Do you like her?”

“Of course I do, Aria.”

“Do you love her?” She grins. Bucky smiles back, running a hand through his dark hair.

“Well, it’s a little tricky to tell. I think…well, she’s defiantly nice, isn’t she?”

“Yeah!” Aria giggles, before yawning again. This time, she quietens down, snuggling into Bucky’s side. Aria hadn’t done this for a while, not since she had started her school, and told her father ‘She was a big girl now.’ Her tiny hands grasped onto his T-Shirt, finding comfort in her father. His hand pulled her closer, and kept her by his side. 

The sun was rising over New York, streaming through the tinted glass windows of 'Cupcake Couture.’ The white writing was assembled over the door, with two large display windows either side of the main door, which was currently locked.

  The shop floor was entirely empty, the window displays completed, and ready to be opened. The stands by the counter were filled, and the hot drink machine was beginning to warm up for use. The faint tune of a radio could be heard from the back of the building, more appropriately, the Bakery. This was where Y/N was, completely lost in her actions.

An order had been messaged to her at god knows what time in the morning, and seeing as only her and two other staff had not called in with some sort of illness. So here she was, clad in her work uniform of pastel colours and white, but now accompanied with baking gloves. Carefully, she opens one of the large ovens, pulling out a batch of vanilla cupcakes, cooked to perfection. 

Laying them down on the table, she proceeded to find food colouring, each colour of the rainbow. The cupcakes were for a Pride celebration, or so she was told.

Her gentle hands began to mix the butter, and icing sugar together, adding dabs of colouring when needed. Soon, there was six bright colours, all placed in piping bags, ready for swirls to be created. 

At that moment, a very grumpy, and tired looking girl entered through the back door. Her dark hair was scraped into a ponytail, her glasses a little crooked. At the sight of you, a grin appeared on her face.

“What happened last night? Your phone wasn’t picking up!”

“It broke, Darcy.” Is your immediate response, carefully placing on the piping size of each bag. “Aria bumped into me and knocked it out my hand.”

Darcy’s eyebrows raised. “Who’s Aria?” You mentally kicked yourself for realising you gave away your evening. You were going to keep it quiet, see if anybody was going to notice. You kept your eyes focused on your work,grunting softly as the red icing came out and into the swirl.

“Hey! Earth to Y/N!” Your head turned to Darcy, who was now expecting an answer. You sighed again, placing down the piping bag on the Baking Parchment, and turning to the girl.

“Aria is…Bucky’s daughter.” You say all too quickly, reaching for a bottle of water on the side counter of the Kitchen. It takes her a moment, before she wiggles her eyebrows, taking a seat on one of the stools.

“Ohh! Bucky…You wanna tell me what happened?” She asked resting her head on her hands, like a child at Story Time.

“There’s not much to it.” You explain, continuing to ice the cupcakes. “I was buying something for dinner at the Supermarket, and his little girl crashed into me, and smashed my phone-”

“His daughter?” Darcy interrupts. “Y/N, it dosen’t count if he’s married-”

“No, he’s not!” You laugh a little at her comment. “His girlfriend left him after she had the baby. And he never wanted to give her up.”


“As I was saying…” You continue. “His daughter asked if I would be her friend and come round for dinner, and James was up for it-”

“I thought his name was Bucky?”

“No, Bucky’s his nickname. I guess. But we went to his place, had Pizza, and then I went home.”

“Shit!” Darcy said, clearly amused by the story. “And where does he live?”

“In probably the biggest Apartment Complex in New York.”

“Rich and Hot. You’ve done good there girl. Did you leave him your number?”

“Well, I couldn’t. My Phone-” 

That’s when you realise. Your cracked phone, the one which he had offered to replace, with that god adorable smile on his face. You left it at his apartment. Mentally, you make a note to try and get to his place to pick it up. 

“Nothing.” You finish your sentence. “Come on, give me a hand with these.” You motion to the cupcakes in front of you, causing Darcy to groan, and pick up a piping bag. 

It was late now; almost 6pm. James had finished work a little earlier, so he was able to go and pick up Aria, and get her home. He had remembered dinner tonight, after picking it up on the way to work. 

Aria was sat patiently in the After-School Club. Of course, she had joined in with the activities: Colouring, Playing in the Wendy House. However, she had refused to let go of her school bag. And none of the teachers knew why.

She did. That morning, her father had forgotten his paperwork, which was still in his office, so the girl was left in the living room, alone. Her eyes had been looking around, until she saw the phone on the coffee table. It must of been Y/N’s phone. 

The girl looked down the corridor, seeing her father disappear into his office. Aria quickly ran to the table, snatching up the phone, but carefully putting in into her bag in the special Zip, where she kept her bracelet, and permissions slips, or lunch money her dad gave her. 

The phone had stayed on her person all day, and she had told nobody of it’s existence. (Well, maybe Peter had a little look…) but other from that, it was her top secret.

Bucky soon reached the front door of the After School care, Aria seeing him, and instantly running up and hugging him tightly. Carefully, he lifted her up, keeping the child on his hip, as he walked to the table to sign her out. 

“Did you have a good day, sweetie?” He asks, to which Aria nods her head, resting into her father’s side. Bucky leans down, signing his name to prove he had picked her up. Gently, he kisses her forehead before letting her down, both of them now walking to the exit of the room.

Bucky lets Aria into the car, the girl telling her father she can 'Do up the belt herself,’ and placing the bag next to her seat. He chuckles at this, going to the front of the car, and sitting in the drivers seat. After asking Aria if she was ready, he began to drive, the silence beckoning for a little while. 

For once, it’s Aria who breaks the silence. She begins to struggle with her bag, which for a moment, takes her attention off everything else. Bucky notices this, before beginning to talk to the girl.

“Aria? What are you doing dear?” He asks, noting his daughter’s constant movement. She grins, now ready to tell him her huge secret and plan.

“I have Miss Y/N’s Phone. Can we take it to her?” She asks, innocently.

“You have her phone?” He seems a little bugged, surprised, too. “Why do you have that?" 

Aria’s voice quietens a little. "Well, I thought that you would forget it, and then we can take it to her, and see her, and you can ask her on a date!” She giggles at the last one, whilst Bucky tries to cover it up.

“You really wanna see her, huh?” He asks, softly. His eyes look the the clock on the dashboard, seeing it’s only Half Past Six. Multitasking may of been a difficult task, but he soon set the directions to Cupcake Couture.

“Alright Miss.” He said, referring to his young one. “Are you happy now?”

Only a giggle is heard from the young girl.

It’s dark, on the streets of New York now. The lampposts illuminate the streets outside, and shop windows are lit, completing the glow. The cupcake shop is no different, light streaming through the windows, and the sign now lit up in a bright white shine.

The two girls are inside, the Cafe area of the shop now nearing it’s close; the tables have been wiped down, and the books from all several of the shelves have been placed back. 

You were not going to lie - for the entirety of the day, your mind had been on Bucky. His smile, his eyes, even the way he talked. It wasn’t often that ever single detail stayed closely knitted in your mind, but today, was an exception. At one point, a father and daughter worked in together, and all you could think about was him.

You were now, as you placed another book away, seeing Darcy sitting on the counter, grinning. 

“What?” You ask, scoffing over the look on her face.

“Oh, I’m sorry!” She sarcastically says. “All day you’ve been away in La La Land, thinking about your beautiful Bucky, and you ask me what’s wrong?” The girl hops down from the counter, now going behind it.

“He’s not my Bucky…” You say, putting empathise on the 'My.' 

“Yeah, but you wish he was…” She trails off, going back into the Kitchen, presumably to finish any cleaning up, and to go home. 

You sigh, placing both hands atop of your head, just above where your Ponytail lays, walking around for a moment. Did you want Bucky to be yours? What about Aria? All these questions were seemingly flying about your mind, that you didn’t hear a tap on the glass. 

You thought it was just your imagination. You turned around, expecting to see just the night sky, but instead, saw a young girl, her hair plaited into two braids, and wearing a familiar coat. 


You ran over to the door, unlocking it from the inside, and opening. Before you could even react, she wraps her arms around your waist, almost screaming in delight.

“Y/N!” She cheers, as you lift her up, resting her on your hip. Darcy, whom was out in the kitchen, came running in, seeing the young girl clinging around your neck. 

“Who’s this?” She asks, pointing to the young girl. It takes her a moment, and a cause of you raising your eyebrows, before nodding. “Ahh, you’re Aria, yeah?” The young girl nods, still giggling.

“Why are you here then?” You ask, the girl still on your hip, as you walk around the back of the counter, picking up a strawberry cupcake, completed with frosting. She grins happily, the same one you remember from her father, as she takes the cake in her hands.

“We came to give you back your phone!” She explains. To this, Darcy shakes her head, confused.

“We?” She asks.

Her question is soon answered. The door opens again, and standing there, is the man. He’s dressed in a navy suit and tie, his brown shoes, and hair neatly placed back.


This was going to be too good. The moment Dai had heard from a couple of people about a little baby demon, she knew she had to get in on that shit. It’d be pure entertainment. Pausing outside of his door in of her designer couture dresses, pink of course, the elder demon knocked on the door she’d been directed to by one of the staff. Her curiosity was almost overwhelming. What even were the young ones like these days?

{ @iixcarson }

Some received a small card in the post, wrapped neatly with blue ribbon and printed with the Sunspell Chic logo. Some might have happened across a card at a shop somewhere or seen the flyers posted around Silvermoon City.

You’re Invited!

Sunspell Chic, a new couture fashion boutique owned by Miss Naivaria Sunspell, is opening its doors for the first time! Come and celebrate with food, drink, and a night of dancing!

When: Monday, August 8, 6 P.M. ST

Where: The Bazaar, just north of the entrance to the Walk of Elders. (The Tailoring shop labeled “Silvermoon Finery”)

Get fancy and come on by! While there will not be actual merchandise sold during this party, appointments will be taken at that time if anyone wishes to commission Naivaria.

Want to be affiliated with Sunspell Chic?
If you are a tradesperson and would like to affiliate yourself with Sunspell Chic, you can either visit @sunspellchic and send a message, or ask Ms. Sunspell in person. Any tradesmen able to produce items for Naivaria to sell or services to offer in her shop are welcome! She will also work with those who wish to advertise their business through the boutique.

(( Sunspell Chic is not a real fashion boutique. It is a role-play establishment that will mostly be Tumblr-run in the interest of establishing more opportunities for RP within the WoW community and give it a dash of flavor. ))