From the outset, haute couture has been the highest expression of luxury, exclusivity, uniqueness and exquisiteness, centred es- pecially on the milieu of an affluent female elite. Women clients for haute couture live in a world of refined opulence and every so- cial event provides an excuse for them to expand their wardrobe. Knowing the codes of etiquette is absolutely crucial to join this se- lect club.

Gaining access to some haute couture salons was ex- tremely difficult due to the prestige of the fashion house, which in many cases was decreed by the specialist media such as fashion magazines. In the salons, decorated in a clean, neutral style so as not to detract from the impression caused by the designs, the collection was presented to a small number of buyers, who were received by a saleswoman. New clients were accepted following a recommendation by an existing client and would be assigned a saleswoman, who would advise them on their decisions.

This exhibition features headdresses made in the House of Balenciaga millinery departments in Paris and Madrid, taking into account the importance of this accessory in the social and cul- tural context of the time.