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Aalto University FaCT MA students took part in a new Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum educational project

FaCT MA students Eerika Yli-Rahko and Hanna-Lotta Hanhela have participated in a novel collaboration between Aalto University and the prestigious Spanish Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum. The collaboration was part of the students’ first year master study course.
Eerika Yli-Rahko's and Hanna-Lotta Hanhela's work
FaCT MA students Hanna-Lotta Hanhela's work (left) and Eerika Yli-Rahko's work (right).

In 2018, the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum (situated in the Spanish Basque Country) inaugurated its first edition of Transmissions, an educational project directed to international fashion schools and their students, which provides a firsthand immersive experience into Balenciaga’s universe through research, reflection and creation.

The project is designed to be an integral part of the curriculum of the participating schools, and not just an optional extracurricular activity. It provides a theme for research: “Balenciaga and the revolution of the silhouette” and a context that immerses students in the philosophy, technique and biography of Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Working at Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum
Photo: Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum

Aalto FaCT MA students Eerika Yli-Rahko and Hanna-Lotta Hanhela took part in the 2019-2021 edition of Transmissions. The starting point of this process was a field trip to the Museum in Balenciaga’s home village, thereby granting the students access to pieces from its archives. In a subsequent part of the program, the participants developed their own personal creative project that ties their vision to the new perspective gained through their research, and finally a selection of the students’ works are being exhibited in the museum, showcasing new talent and completing the cycle from the archive to new creation and from new creation to future museum collection.

The project has connected the Museum with some of the most important Fashion Design schools in the world, such as: Aalto University, Design and Architecture (Espoo, Finland), Accademia Costume e Moda (Roma, Italia), ArtEZ University of the Arts (Arnhem, Holand), Bilbao International Art & Fashion (Bilbao, Basque Country), Central Saint Martins (UAL, London, England), Iceland University of the Arts (Reykjavik, Island), IED Madrid (Madrid, Spain), Osaka Institute of Fashion (Osaka, Japan), Parsons School of Design (New York, United States), Kyoto Seika University (Kyoto, Japan), Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Arts (Ramat Gan, Israel), The Royal Danish Academy (Copenhagen, Denmark).

“We particularly value having been able to go ahead with the project in the complicated and extraordinary circumstances caused by the global health crisis. A collective achievement thanks to the effort and commitment of the schools, the student participants, and the museum” points out Jone de Felipe, Head of Education at the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum.

The results of this process can now be seen in a collective exhibition, between 3 December and 27 February in the Museum, presenting a selection of 41 creative proposals from the total of 517 students who took part in the project.

You can also access the virtual exhibition.

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