Cristóbal Balenciaga was born in Spain in 1895; Christian Dior, in France in 1905. Balenciaga set up shop in Paris in 1937, Dior in 1947, and the two soared in the 1950s, kings of the couture. Balenciaga’s evolution was long and slow: his architectural genius emerged as he matured. Dior tooled around in other careers; when he finally chose fashion he was an instant sensation, creating dresses that cast a spell of cultural refinement. This focused exhibition looks at the ways these two visionaries, mutually inspiring yet so different in their design agendas, sometimes fell into alignment. —L.J.
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