Bequeathed by Mrs Fern Bedaux
Museum no. T.755-1972
This hat is part of the collection of Mrs Fern Bedaux, given to the museum by Miss E Hanley, the heiress and niece of Mrs Bedaux. Mrs Bedaux purchased her whole wardrobe regularly from Balenciaga and the collection was very large; some was kept by Miss Hanley, some sent to the Costume Museum in Bath and some was received by the V&A.
Mrs Bedaux was the very wealthy widow of American millionaire office systems pioneer Charles Bedaux. Mr and Mrs Bedaux lived in the 16th century Chateau de Cand in France. The Duke of Windsor was married there after his abdication as King Edward VIII in 1936. Charles Bedaux had some ties with the Nazi party and was a controversial figure.