San Sebastián, September 22 (EFE).- From Cristóbal Balenciaga we can say that everything is known about his work as a master of haute couture and almost nothing about his private life. In one and the other, the directors Jon Garaño, Aitor Arregi and José Mari Goenaga have investigated to build, “with respect and rigor”, the main character of their first series for television.
The project was developed as an original Disney + production, which approaches its first locally produced series, and with actor Alberto San Juan as the absolute protagonist of “Balenciaga”, which will have six chapters, will premiere in 2023 and whose latest additions is that of musician Alberto Iglesias.
The framework of the San Sebastian Film Festival served this Thursday for the presentation of this project carried out as a team by the directors of “Handia”, a film awarded ten goyas, and “The infinite trench”, which won two, and in which also Basque producer Xabier Berzosa participates.
Along with all of them, they took part in the act, which took place at the San Telmo museum, the vice president of original production of Disney + Spain, Sofía Fábregas; co-writer and designer, Lourdes Iglesias, and costume designer Bina Daigeler, who led a team of 30 to faithfully recreate the creations of a master who was close to perfection.
The three directors have adapted to the different cinematographic eras to shoot in sixteen weeks – there are still two weeks and two nights left – the life and work of this Gipuzkoan, son of a fisherman and seamstress from Getaria, who is part of history of fashion and of which they wanted to “go beyond the ‘biopic'”.
“We maintain a balance. We imagined certain episodes of his life and in what we know of him, we were rigorous. But you also have to see yourself reflected in the character,” Goenaga explained.
With Alberto San Juan, they carried out “a process of negotiation” until he “appropriated the character and also brought his layers”. “He gave us the feeling of closeness, of Gipuzkoanism, he understood it well”, we say of the Madrid interpreter, who speaks in the series in Spanish, Basque and French.
The actor confirmed it. “My relationship with him is intense, of course. He is the figure with whom I have had the most ties in the past four months, more than with any being of flesh and blood,” he said. -he declares.
“We feel very comfortable in the psychology of the character, it challenges you, it also speaks to you. Our Cristóbal is a person frustrated by the lack of control”, added Arregi, who also assured that they had had complete freedom and that the series would be the same as they would have filmed, even if they had not had Disney+ support.
Garaño, for his part, explained that they had worked as a team in the same way as in their films, although the idea was that two directors would work for each couple of chapters. “It turns out to be more complex and in the end we all get into everything,” he added.
Alberto San Juan also mentioned the scope of this production, which had never worked for a project “of such a dimension and with so many resources” and in which it is, “above all, very well commissioned”.
“Such was the dimension, so upset as I felt, that I had to act as a loyal and disciplined soldier. It was my way of being able to survive and continue at the pace it demanded, absolutely dedicated to the team”, he commented on this role, which for him was “an absolute gift of life”. .
San Juan was not the only option to bring Balenciaga to life, but it was the one that was placed “on the starting grid” after taking the test, Arregi pointed out.
The documentation work was exhaustive, they read and saw everything that exists on Balenciaga and had the collaboration of their “house” in Paris and that of Miren Arzalluz, expert in dressmaking and director of the fashion museum of the Palais Galliera of the French capital.
In today’s presentation, the costume director said they told her she was very serious. “I didn’t have time to laugh”, said Bina Daigeler, so much was the technical effort of her team to study and reproduce the creations of the master, to which was added later the approach of couturiers such as Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, who they also appear in the series, as does Fabiola from Belgium.