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


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1964 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk velvet trimmed with artificial pearls and gilt

  • Credit Line:

    Given anonymously

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case X14, shelf FIG5

Physical description

Small hat of deep green silk velvet pillbox-percher with combs to secure to the hair. Large heavy pearl and gilt ornament on the front.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1964 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Silk velvet trimmed with artificial pearls and gilt

Marks and inscriptions

Label inside hat

Descriptive line

Hat of silk velvet with artificial pearls, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1964

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.

Silk and artificial pearl
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1964
V&A: T.351-1997



Pearls (imitation); Gilt metal; Silk (textile)


Velvet weave


Hats & headwear; Fashion; Clothing; Accessories

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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