The Origins of that Crazy Balenciaga Hat

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Milan Fashion Week 2012, Photo by Phil Oh.

Sometimes you come across something on another site and you just can't say it better then how it's already been said. That is pretty much how we felt when we stumbled upon an article on Fashionista that took a look at the origins of that odd looking 2012 Balenciaga visor hat. Which, if you are a vintage obsessed crazy person like we all are, you instantly recognized as a redo of the 1967 design created by Cristobal himself.

Written for that article were these two paragraphs by blogger Lilah Ramzi:

"A year before Cristóbal Balenciaga’s final collection, he introduced his single-seam wedding dress in 1967. The designer, taking cues from the period’s affinity for futuristic cuts and tech fabrics, reappropriated them into the unlikeliest of places: the traditional white bride’s dress. With just one seam, the dress suggests it was born, rather than made, void of any elements that reveal the human hands responsible for its existence. A similarly smooth monastic-like hood replaced the obvious white lace veil, making for a complete space-age bride.

In 2008, Nicolas Ghesquière, then the designer of Balenciaga, looked to the house’s archives and reintroduced the mod headpiece for the brand’s Spring 2008 collection. Four years later, the habit-like hat was once again brought back to life by Ghesquière for the label’s Spring 2012 show. This time, however, the hood was reimagined as a visor and was immediately spotted atop the heads of several daring Fashion Week fixtures."

Well said Lilah, although we did take the liberty of digging up more photos then the original article displayed so our readers can really get a feel for this piece's progression. It is interesting that Ghesquière took it upon himself to try to put a spin on this iconic piece, not once, but twice. Perhaps in internal couture test? (we would like to imagine it was so - like a contract clause in French demanding a fresh, new creative interpretation of one of the hardest pieces in the archives to re-imagine or you are out - au revoir, a bientot, salut, adieu - don't let the door ....)

It is also interesting to note the progression from wedding to ready-to-wear to downright street style. And we can't help but wonder what the new creative director for the house, Mr. Alexander Wang, will do with it if he decides to do his own version. (yes please)

Guesses as to what that would look like?

Source: Fashionista

Single-seam wedding gown by Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1967.


(L) Jennifer Connolly for Balenciaga, Spring 2008. (R) Natalia Vodianova, Vogue.


Balenciaga Spring 2012 Runway.


(L) Hanneli Mustaparta. (R) Anna Dello Russo, Milan Fashion Week.


Charlotte Gainsbourg, Harpers Bazaar May 2012, Photos by Jean-Paul Goude.




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