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Hat
  • Hat
    Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972
  • Enlarge image

Hat

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1955-1960 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Velvet, ramie, cellophane and plastic

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Loel Guinness

  • Museum number:

    T.61-1974

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Bandeau hat of black cellophane and ramie leaves attached to an alice band covered in black velvet with two combs.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1955-1960 (made)

Artist/maker

Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Velvet, ramie, cellophane and plastic

Marks and inscriptions

'BALENCIAGA'
Label sewn to band

Object history note

Worn and given by Gloria Guinness

Historical context note

Gloria Guinness (nee Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, 1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century.

Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune.

She was voted 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962 behind Jackie Kennedy in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)

She owned seven homes, with a full wardrobe in each so that she would never have to pack or wait at customs. She spread her patronage widely, and amongst donations to the V&A of pieces by Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy etc., are pieces by lesser known couturiers such as Chaumont and Lafaurie.

Descriptive line

Bandeau hat, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955-1960

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Cecil Beaton, Fashion: an anthology (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1972)

Labels and date

‘Balenciaga’s hats are an integral part of his fashion,’ reported the French fashion review Jardin des modes in 1961. They ensure ‘that volumes are balanced and the silhouette is perfectly finished off.’ Fairly conventional ensembles were often paired with a striking hat which lifted the whole look and made it appear more avant-garde. The client could buy the whole ensemble or leave the hat if it was too daring. The designs for hats were as fiercely protected as those for dresses. The police commissioner stamped the official sketches of the hats to protect them from being copied.

Bandeau with black leaves
Ramie, cellophane, velvet and wire
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955–60
Given by Mrs Loel Guinness
V&A: T.61-1974 []

Materials

Velvet; Cellophane; Ramie; Plastic

Subjects depicted

Leaves

Categories

Hats & headwear; Fashion; Women's clothes; Accessories

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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