Sanso Made Fabric Designs for Balenciaga

This Museum Girl is sad that almost all the museums are still closed, so I was incredibly thrilled that I got my ultimate wish of finally visiting, and even having breakfast in a museum(!) one quiet morning in the sunny courtyard of Fundacion Sanso.

Sanso’s floral textile design, wherein he possibly used actual flowers to create the patterns.

This impromptu trip to the museum courtesy of its director and my “neighbor” Ricky Francisco was also a good excuse to see the Fundacion’s current exhibit of selected textile designs by Juvenal Sanso.

Sanso’s textile designs are as varied as the medium used, ranging from geometric paper cutouts, and Pollock-style strokes, to watercolor on heavy paper.

I absolutely did not know this before, but Ricky explained that from the 1950s to the ’60s, Sanso made textile designs to augment his income when he was in Paris. European companies like Synergie and Bianchini Ferrier purchased his designs, but his biggest break came in the 1960s when the House of Balenciaga purchased an entire book of his textile patterns to be printed on silk. This lucky purchase sustained him for a year and allowed him to pursue his painting.

Sanso used natural objects like leaves and blooms for creating his designs. Up

Up close, the textile patterns are breathtaking beautiful. The themes run the gamut from florals and geometrics to ethnic patterns and pop art, and look contemporary to this day. Sanso used natural materials like actual flowers and leaves to create the prints and repeating patterns, and all have his painterly touch–you wouldn’t know it was a textile pattern unless someone would point it out to you.

The museum’s collaboration with designer Robbie Santos of Septieme Rebelle resulted in Sanso’s textile patterns being translated into gorgeous evening and day wear.

Some of these beautiful patterns are printed onto scarves and gift wrapping paper sold in the museum shop (do drop by, it’s a treasure trove of adorable gifts!), and used in a fashion collaboration with couturier Septieme Rebelle. I do wish these fabric designs would be used in more fashion collabs in the future.

In the mezzanine: Sanso’s works from the ’70s, 80s, and 2000s.

The rest of the morning was spent touring the museum and discussing how it was selling its limited-edition giclee prints (c’mon, pronounce it: zhee-klay) to help benefit another museum, Museo Pambata, which has suffered quite a bit because of the pandemic lockdown. This also led us to discuss IATF’s restrictions and how art is not considered “essential”. It is strange that crowded malls are open and yet museums, which are hardly full of people even on peak days, remain closed.

Makes one think, if the arts and culture aren’t essential, then what would we all be like without it?

Fundacion Sanso is located at 32 Vito Cruz, San Juan. It is open from 10am to 1pm for appraisals and visits by appointment. Go to their page for details.

Published by medinarach

I am an interior designer, writer, and content editor for print and web. Join me on my adventure as I look for design inspiration, art, and culture in everyday life.

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