Sunday, November 09, 2008
Not Without My Hat!
What if the Christian Dior haute couture shows didn't have the most amazing hats? Well I'm sure that it would be lovely to see all the garments and outfits but the hats are definitely eye candy.
The english millinery Stephen Jones is one of the most talented hat makers in the world and he has been designing hats for Christian Dior haute couture for many years. He started to study arts in 1975 and took a degree at St. Martin's in 1979. One year after in October, he opened his first Hat Salon in Endell St, Covent Garden and you'll still find him there in Covent Garden but on 36 Great Queen Street instead, The Stephen Jones Millinery shop.
Stephen hasn't just been designing hats for the house of Dior. John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Comme Des Garcons, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Givenchy haute couture, Matthew Williamson, Burberry, Dries van Noten, Azzedine Alaïa, Roberto Cavalli, Jil Sander, Giles Deacon, Marc Jacobs...to name a few(!!).
In 1982 he appeared in Culture Club's golden oldie video "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" with Boy George who was wearing one of his designs. Jean-Paul Gaultier saw the video and invited Stephen so he could start to design hats. Boy George is one of Stephen's biggest clients just as Anna Piaggi, Dita von Teese, Gwen Stefani, Kylie Minouge and Mr Galliano him self.
From an interview with Stephen:
Do models accidentally take your hats from backstage?
Yes, sadly. Quite a few disappear from backstage and you think, How on earth did they sneak it out? But it's okay as long as they end up in a good home.
Do you ever see the hats out and about?
I'd rather see them walking around than sitting in a PR office somewhere. I do remember one model in particular who went off with a very expensive tiara, but she looked so fabulous in it that I forgave her. I know how much time it would take me to get it back and I think life's too short. People are very possessive about hats in the way they are about shoes.
(When I read about the "tiara", Naomi Campbell came up in my head! Could it be her? Probably!)
If you'd like to purchase an original, hand-made hat from "Model Millinery", the price usually starts from £500(!) but you could get smart, chic, elegant hats from the line "Miss Jones & Jones boy" with lower prices from £80/120. I know where I'm going next time I'm in London...
Don't miss; Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones
24 February – 10 May 2009 at V&A
(Images from style.com, flickr.com, hintmag.com)