Testament of Youth, MotherFatherSon and The Aftermath director James Kent is to helm a new biopic TV series on the life of  Spanish designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga.

The series, in development for ViacomCBS International Studios, is being written by Rebecca Pollock and Kas Graham. Frida Torresblanco (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Dancer Upstairs, Disobedience) of Braven Films is set to serve as Executive Producer.

Production is slated to begin in 2021.

Born in 1895 in Getaria, a small fishing village in the Basque region of northern Spain, Balenciaga was introduced to fashion by his mother, a seamstress with clients that included the most fashionable and noble families in the area. 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 he was brought into contact with a cosmopolitan clientele. In the 1950s, Balenciaga unveiled never-before-seen styles and shapes, which were considered radical designs at the time, but gradually were refined and considered fashion staples for every season, marking fashion in the central decades of the 20th century.

Frida Torresblanco, Executive Producer, 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. I couldn’t be prouder to have the support of ViacomCBS International Studios and our incredibly talented team of writers and director for this inspiring project.”

James Kent, Director, said: “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. I am thrilled to have the challenge of pulling from this visual, aesthetic space, and Balenciaga’s intense life, to share this glamorous story with the world.”

Jon Creamer

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