The Balenciaga universe, at the Disseny Hub

Until October 3, the Design Museum will stage the exhibition ‘BALENCIAGA. L’elegància del barret’ (‘Balenciaga, the Elegance of the Hat’). Curated by Igor Uría of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa and Sílvia Ventosa of the Design Museum, the exhibition displays a selection of the most singular complement designed by the grand master of haute couture, the hat.

This is the first international exhibition centred on the Basque designer’s hats and headdresses created in his haute couture houses in Paris and Madrid, which will reveal the singularity of Balenciaga’s work in his innovative and imaginative techniques, the selection of materials and the handcraft character of the production of his hats. The exhibition also displays the work of the women who gave form and impulse to these creations.

In total the show includes 87 hats, 78 presented individually, 9 with an outfit and 1 dressed with a stole. Of these 87, 43 are from the Design Museum’s collection and the other 44 from the collection of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum. We will be able to see, for example, items like ‘Turbant’ (1948-1950), made with satin draped over a cap of woven spartina grass, ‘Pamela tambourine’ (1948-1950), made with cotton organza with an inner structure of tarlatan, or 'Coiffure drapée gazar noir' (1967), of silk organza draped and folded over a spartina cap.

The exhibition ‘BALENCIAGA. L’elegància del barret’ also includes a knowledge space, a library service with consultation and lending of more than 300 titles offered by the Design Museum’s Documentation Centre in collaboration with the El Clot - Josep Benet Library.

 

A sustainable exhibition

This temporary exhibition is one more example of the Barcelona Design Hub’s support for and commitment to sustainability. It is based on criteria of environmental sustainability such as flexibility and adaptability, recyclability, origin, harmlessness, efficiency and reduction. In this respect, we reuse the woodwork of the dividing panels; the paint, the carpentry elements and the floor carpeting have ecology labels; the surface finish of plaited rope is a natural cotton fabric; the graphic production avoids the use of PVC to a maximum; and the supports of the hats and clothing outfits are made of with compressed ecological paper.

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