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


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (designed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1960 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    brown mohair, dark brown leather, dark brown cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs. Edgar Wind

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

‘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

Brown mohair? hat decorated with dark brown suede bow on left side. Round top and round wide brim. Interior of hat has brown cotton band sewn in a circle around the crown, some brown net has been sewn inside the back of the hat. Hidden semi-circular brim of mohair inside the back of the hat provides extra support.

Place of Origin

Paris (designed)


ca. 1960 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

brown mohair, dark brown leather, dark brown cotton


Circumference: 90 cm approx. (around brim), Circumference: 50 cm approx. (around crown), Height: 20 cm approx.

Object history note

Given by Margaret Wind (1915-2006), widow of Professor Edgar Wind (1900-1971), along with three other Balenciaga hats (nos. T.857-2000, T.859-2000 and T.860-2000), two pairs of Parisian shoes by Georgette (T.861-2000 and T.862-2000) and a cream linen suit, with brown chiffon scarf by Balenciaga (T.862:1-3-2000). The labels had evidently removed from five garments and they are now in envelopes in the Registration File (2000/634). In correspondence with the V&A curators, Mrs Wind wrote: 'the exquisite atmosphere of 10 Avenue George V is unforgettable' (Wind to Valerie Mendes, Oxford, 29 November 1998) and a friend writing on her behalf two years later noted: 'she [Mrs Wind] is keenly aware of the distinctive and intelligent character of Balenciaga's work, and is happy that his rôle continues to be understood.'

Born Margaret Kellner in Rochester, New York, Mrs Wind was the daughter of the German physicist G. A. Hermann Kellner and his wife Margarethe, née Goetze, who had emigrated to the United States. After obtaining a B.A. in Art History at the University of Rochester in 1937, she moved to Mills College in California where she met her future husband. She subsequently became his Research Assistant at the Institue of Fine Arts, University of New York in 1940. They married in May 1942 and between then and his appointment at Oxford, they moved from Chicago, where her husband was professor of art at the University of Chicago (1942-44), to Northampton, Massachusetts where he was appointed Neilson research professor at Smith College and then professor of philosophy and art (1944-54). He went on to serve as first Professor of the History oF Art at Oxford University (1955-67). After his death in 1971, Mrs Wind became his literary executrix, dedicating more than 30 years to advocating for his legacy in Oxford. Her donations, together with funding secured from the Louise Crane Foundation, went into the Wind Benefaction, which helped to fund work on Edgar Wind's private and scholarly papers, research on his life and work, and new editions and translations of his publications. She also took a leading role in the establishment of the Wind Room, which opened at the Sackler Library in 2001 and houses the collection of books that Edgar Wind had acquired for the History of Art Library during his tenure. Photographs in the Wind collection reveal that the Winds were in Paris in the 1960s.
Source: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/modern/wind/wind.html [accessed 14 May 2018]

Descriptive line

Brown hat with suede bow, designed by Balenciaga, Paris, c. 1960

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail


Mohair; Leather; Cotton


Hand sewn


Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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