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Hat with hat pins
  • Hat with hat pins
    Balenciaga, Cristóbal, born 1895 - died 1972
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Hat with hat pins

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1960 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Organza, grosgrain, nylon net

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Loel Guinness

  • Museum number:

    T.67 to B-1974

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition, case B91 []

‘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.

Physical description

Toque hat of black pleated organza with bow at the back, on nylon net foundation, with grosgrain ribbon hat band (possibly wired round edge; with two hat pins.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


ca. 1960 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Organza, grosgrain, nylon net

Marks and inscriptions


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

Toque hat of pleated organza with two hat pins, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, ca. 1960

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

Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971

Production Note

Possibly late 1950s


Organza; Nylon net; Ribbon


Weaving; Netting


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

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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