ViacomCBS International Studios is developing a series on Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga and has attached Testament Of Youth director James Kent to helm and Pan’s Labyrinth producer Frida Torresblanco to executive produce.
Written by Rebecca Pollock and Kas Graham, the project — which is slated to shoot in 2021 — will depict the life of Balenciaga, who helped lead a revolution in fashion, with his precision and perfectionism earning him the admiration of contemporaries, including Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, and Coco Chanel.
In 1917, at the age of 22, he established his first fashion house in San Sebastian, and later opened fashion houses in Madrid and Barcelona, before moving to Paris in 1937, where his work won the admiration of an influential cosmopolitan clientele. In the 1950s, Balenciaga unveiled never-before-seen styles and shapes, which were considered radical designs at the time.
Torresblanco said: “I have long admired the genius of the greatest Spanish fashion designer in history. After discovering Balenciaga’s influences this triggered the implacable need to capture the life of a brave artist who intensely and relentlessly lived for his love of an aristocrat, a handsome gentleman whose life was threatened by the dangerous times he lived in. He liberated women who were restricted in their corsets, by creating a timeless, provocative and avant-garde way to live that continues to influence future generations.”
Kent added: “There are few artists who have affected our world’s material reality – its texture, color, shape and form – in the way Balenciaga has. His creations changed the face of fashion, and his story, until now, has only been told through his fashion designs.”
The project follows ViacomCBS International Studios announcement in October that is working on a series based on the life of Italian female artist Artemisia Gentileschi, who is considered to be one of the most accomplished painters in the Baroque period. Torresblanco is also involved.
Torresblanco runs Braven Films alongside her partners Eric Laufer and Giovanna Randall. Kent is represented by CAA and United Agents. Pollock and Graham are represented by CAA, Kaplan/Perrone, Independent Talent, and JAB Management.