Balenciaga Hat Exhibit: Hat Security

Barcelona’s Museu sel Disseny (Design Museum) features a wonderful millinery exhibition open from June 17 to October 3 entitled, “Balenciaga. The Elegance of the Hat.Spanish milliner Cristina De Prada takes us on a tour of the exhibit, showing how these incredible hats were made, their history and notable elements of their design. 

Cristina also demonstrates the couture technique used to make a hatpin similar to the one on the green hat featured in the video (a style of which we’ve seen on many past royal hats):

We’ll follow more of Cristina’s tour of this amazing exhibition in coming days.

Images from social media as indicated  

9 thoughts on “Balenciaga Hat Exhibit: Hat Security

  1. These videos were fantastic, thanks so much for sharing them!

    When I was a child, my mother kept her hat pins in a salt shaker, each pin having its own hole. I remember being fascinated by them, and often just looking at them or rearranging them. (As well as learning quickly not to touch the sharp points!) I don’t know what happened to them — she must have gotten rid of them after regular wearing of hats went out of style — I did not find either the pins or the salt shaker when I went through her things after she passed away.

  2. Fun and interesting! Would we consider the contemporary doughnut a descendent of the couvre chignon?

    Now if only I could go to Barcelona,,,,

    • Clearly, open-crowned hats have been around for a while! Balenciaga’s couvre chignon was an elegant iteration of this, wasn’t it? I love seeing evidence of such millinery style evolution.

    • This was a wonderful review of how hats can be secured on one’s head, something we’ve talked about occasionally on here, but not in much depth recently. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the videos about this Balenciaga exhibit. I also liked the video demonstrating how to use the leftover fabric to create a nice head on the hatpin.

      How I wish I could fly to Barcelona right now with you MittenMary! Also, I’ve always preferred to call donut/open crown hats “circlets” or “circlet hats” since it sounds more elegant to me. 😉

      I have an antique circlet hat in my collection of hats my grandma gave me some years ago. There’s a little damage with the veiling unfortunately, but considering it was stuffed away in a drawer for years (probably decades), it stayed in pretty good shape overall. I was also able to steam out the veil some to make it look better on a mannequin head for display. It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice connection to have with my grandma (who turned 94 just a few weeks ago); my mom also remembers my grandma wearing it once at my great-grandfather’s (my grandma’s father) funeral.

  3. Anything Balenciaga! I’m already swooning. But the hats are exceptional and, yes, Cristina is the perfect curator for these wonderful expressions of style and technique. Thank you so much for this post and for those to come.

    • In terms of historical royal millinery, we’ve not talked here about Balenciaga nearly enough! It’s such a gift to us that Cristina is highlighting this exhibit because…. well, as she said, it’s phenomenal.

  4. A very talented lady. When clicking on the link, I also found her demonstrations in Italian and Spanish.

    Some wonderful hats! And a style I could imagine on Audrey Hepburn – the couvre chignon, I think it was called.

  5. There is an innate elegance to these vintage hats that enthralls me. I can easily imagine many of these designs worn by royal women in the past. Perhaps some were? Thank you so much for this very interesting post.

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