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Balenciaga. The Elegance of the Hat

Start Date 17 June 2021
End Date 03 October 2021
Venue Museu del Disseny de Barcelona and Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa
Location Barcelona and Getaria, Spain
Curator Igor Uría and Sílvia Ventosa
Exhibition display of hats in a section called 'Exuberance'
Exhibition display of hats and a mannequin wearing a black dress

The show is the result of years of joint research into the hat collections of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum and Barcelona Design Museum, the institutions co-producing the show. Curated by Igor Uria, Collections Director of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum and by Silvia Ventosa, Textile and Fashion Director of the Barcelona Design Museum.

In Cristóbal Balenciaga’s Paris, hats were an indispensable part of the feminine silhouette. All haute couture maisons either had ateliers dedicated to their design and manufacture, or worked with established milliners.

The hat is a matter of architectural balance: it crowns the building of the dress” said Cristóbal Balenciaga when starting to consolidate his millinery ateliers in the Paris and Madrid of the 40s.

The shapes and sizes of the crown and the brim mark the difference between picture hats, turbans, bonnets, berets and diadems; made in straw, felt, leather or fur; decorated with flowers, feathers or tulles… an enormous variety, fruit of the creativity and skills of the mainly women who collaborate with the Maisons to put the finishing touch to the perfect outfit.

Outstanding amongst all of these, conceived to enhance the silhouette, are the exquisite, sometimes exuberant, often minimalist, but always elegant hats by Balenciaga.

Thanks to this collaboration between the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum and Barcelona Design Museum, we have here a display of one-of-a-kind creation and of haute couture in its own right.

The exhibition now comes to Getaria, following its run in Barcelona, with 87 hats, 78 of which are presented individually, and 9 with a complete outfit.