The exhibition is the result of years of joint research into the hat collections of the Museo Cristóbal Balenciaga and the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona, the institutions co-producing the show. Curated by Igor Uria, Director of Collections at the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum, and Silvia Ventosa, Curator of Textiles and Clothing at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona.
The exhibition arrives in Getaria, after being presented in Barcelona, with eighty-seven hats, seventy-eight of which are presented individually, and nine as a complete set. Forty-three belong to the Museu del Disseny collection and the other forty-four pieces are part of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum collection.
The exhibition delves into the uniqueness of the designer's work, highlighting the innovative and imaginative forms, the selection of exquisite materials, the search for techniques and the artisanal nature of his hat production. The sum of all these factors makes them unique, unrepeatable and magnetic.
Cristóbal Balenciaga established a very characteristic style and form in his hat designs, with refined and stylised volumes, which are created using very simple, almost abstract forms, being in themselves authentic sculptures.
In Cristóbal Balenciaga's Paris, the hat was an integral part of the female silhouette. All the Haute Couture houses had ateliers dedicated to its design and manufacture, or collaborated with established millineries.
"The hat is a question of architectural balance: it crowns the building of the dress", declared Cristóbal Balenciaga, when he began to consolidate his millinery workshops in the 1940s, both in Paris and Madrid.
The shapes and sizes of both the cap and the brim differentiate pamelas, turbans, bonnets, berets or headbands; made of straw, felt, leather or fur; adorned with flowers, feathers or tulle... an enormous variety, the result of the creativity and skills of the mostly women who collaborated in the Casas to complete the perfect outfit.
Among all of them, designed to enhance the silhouette, the exquisite, sometimes exuberant, often minimalist, but always elegant Balenciaga hats stand out.
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