Picture Hat thumbnail 1
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Picture Hat

ca. 1955 (made)
Place of origin

Black organza wide-brimmed picture hat. With original Balenciaga box.

Object details
Object type
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Organza wide-brimmed picture hat, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, ca. 1955
Physical description
Black organza wide-brimmed picture hat. With original Balenciaga box.
Gallery label
‘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. Wide organza picture hat and box Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, about 1955 Given by Mrs D.M. Haynes and Mrs M. Clark V&A: T.169-1982; NCOL.694:1, 2-2016(12/05/2017)
Credit line
Given by Mrs D.M. Haynes and Mrs M. Clark
Object history
Opal Holt was born in Canada in 1887 but lived in the US until the end of the Second World War. She travelled extensively between the wars and was in the first plane to land in Bali. She married Herbert Holt, a Canadian who lived a large part of his life in England, as her third husband in 1946. They came to England and Europe every summer and Opal Holt began buying clothes in Paris for her life in England, and for the Bahamas in Winter, over a period of about thirty years. She died in 1980.

Given by Mrs D.M Haynes and Mrs. Clark (nee Holt; Opal Holt's step-daughters).
Accession number

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL
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