Unlike most other ateliers of his time, Balenciaga’s hats were never outsourced. The exceptional designer was a man of many talents, and one who preferred a personal touch.
The couturier’s attention to detail was second to none. Balenciaga was skilled in every stage of the production process, always wearing a white coat as he meticulously studied and constructed his creations. From designing to cutting, tailoring to dressmaking, nothing was beyond his expertise.
And thus two Balenciaga hat ateliers were born. Specialising in millinery, and crafted by the expertly trained Wladzio d’Attainville and Ramón Esparza, these studios produced some of Paris’ most intricately designed hats.
Volumes of the finest fabrics were sought for each luxurious hat produced. In fact, during WWII the authorities shut down the millinery workshops for exceeding fabric allowances under austerity measures. After the war, however, the magical production of these fine hats continued.
During this period, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, designs became distinctly more surreal in scale, shape and material.
The fashion house’s elaborate hats are representative of Balenciaga’s love for experimentation. And so, just like the iconic garments, the charm of a Balenciaga hat endures.