It opened yesterday and it will be up until May 31st at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London the exhibition “Hats: An Anthology”. A collaboration between the V&A and one of the fashion world’s most prolific milliners, Stephen Jones, it follows in the footsteps of the V&A’s very first fashion show in 1971, Fashion: An Anthology by Cecil Beaton.
Stephen Jones began his career on graduating from St Martin’s School of Art in 1979. Since then he has produced hat collections twice a year under his label ‘Stephen Jones Millinery’, while also collaborating with some of the most prominent fashion houses and designers of our time. (…) Distinct from hat-making, with its large-scale production of standard hat types, millinery focuses on the creation and decoration of elegant, experimental and often whimsical hats. Jones permits us to examine the world of millinery from the inside out, following the life-cycle of a hat from its point of inception in the milliner’s mind to its final incarnation atop the wearer’s head.
Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones uncovers the rich seam of fashion, style, inspiration, craft and technique inherent in every hat. Jones began researching at the V&A’s archives on 2 April 2007. He would spend the next year going through cupboards, stores and other museum collections, looking at what amounted to thousands of hats, and as the hats emerged the narrative became apparent. Jones says: “The criteria for selecting hats were surprisingly straightforward: a delicious brim line, spectacular detailing, an intriguing provenance, designs that somehow linked past, present and future”.
The exhibition follows the life of a hat through the stages of inspiration and creation, to the salon and finally to the client who gives the hat its ultimate purpose and flourish.
“Hats Off”- Coinciding with the opening of the exhibition, SHOWstudio also unveils its own tribute to Stephen Jones with four film shorts featuring Stephen Jones, curator Oriole Cullen and set designer Michael Howells, centring on the exhibition’s inspiration and design as well as Jones’ millinery. Watch the videos
Images property of V&A and SHOWStudio.