Balenciaga was consistent and faithful to his own standards, so nothing in his work can be described as superfluous and no detail is of secondary importance. A memory is always a key to his creative universe.
Cristóbal Balenciaga drew inspiration from various sources in creating his headdresses: the large straw hats of rural Mediterranean cultures, the traditions of Basque popular culture, such as berets – a Basque and French symbol – and fishermen’s caps. He was also very familiar with religious clothing and reinterpreted nuns’ wimples and the broad-brimmed flat hats worn by priests. From the world of bullfighting and majos (the name given to members of the lower classes in the 18th century who wore elaborate clothing), he took tassels in the shape of berries, nets and headdresses, tricornes and matadors’ hats, with a shape at the back reminiscent of a bullfighter’s pigtail.
Materials such as jet and techniques like macrame and lacemaking, typical of popular Spanish clothing, were recreated by the designer, giving them a new life.