When you hear the name Stephen Jones you may think of the hats the royal family wore for the recent wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince Albert but Stephen Jones is a living legend of millinery. He graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 1979 and since then has produced two collections a year under the “Stephen Jones Millinery” label. In addition to his label, he’s collaborated wit some of the most presigious designers and houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Comm des Garçons, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs and Thierru Mugler.
Stephen Jones recently collaborated with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to curate an exhibit of exquisite hats called Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones. He said: “I was honored when the V&A asked me to curate an exhibition about hats. I had so much fun finding unique head decoration in the most interesting of places. This exhibition draws on millinery colletions world-wide and is truly an eclectic and exciting anthology of hats from the last millennium to the present day.” The exhibit has traveled to New York City to the Bard Graduate Center and I was fortunate enough to see the preview along with a tour given by Stephen Jones and Oriolle Cullen, curator of Modern Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria and Albert museum, London.
In the exhibit, designer hats are placed next to their historical predecessors to provide context to the viewer. Hats of different themes and fabrications were featured including: Bonnets and Top Hats, London, Tricornes and Bicornes, Turbans, Animal Kingdom, Modern Age, Geometry, Hoods, Straw, Felt, Knit, Embellishment, Plastic, Feathers, Atelier, Flowers, Paper, Contemporary New York Milliners, Tiaras and The Salon. Some standouts included a hat from the very first Dior collection in 1948, a modern interpretation of a feather bonnet, Elsa Schiaparelli’s shoe hat and a recreation of Stephen Jones’ studio. Another favorite part of the exhibition was a section of hats worn be celebrities which included Andy Warhol’s wig, Babe Ruth’s baseball cap, Janet Jackson’s cap from the cover of her Rhythm Nation album and a fedora worn by Mick Jagger.
Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones is on exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center until April 15, 2012. I highly recommend seeing this exhibit if you have any interest in fashion – it’s gorgeous and inspirational. If you can’t make it to see the exhibit, you can purchase the book on Amazon.com.
- Dior-Inspired Art Exhibit in Beijing
- Exhibit: Amy Winehouse – A Family Portrait
- 1925-1940 Paris/New York Design Exhibit
- Stephen Jones by COMME DES GARÇONS Fragrance
- Yestadt Millinery S/S 2010