24 posts tagged "Stephen Jones"
I’m a history buff, so I get a kick out of being able to date the moments when things change. It’s easy in fashion, which is already glued to a calendar. Five years ago, Stephen Jones curated an exhibition devoted to hats, at the Victoria & Albert Museum. “Without that exhibition, I don’t know what the hat industry in the UK would be,” said milliner William Chambers the other day at Somerset House, where he was one of the designers in the Jones-curated Headonism initiative, a joint effort by the British Fashion Council and Royal Ascot to support the art and craft of millinery. The Royal Ascot—the most famous racing event in the equestrian calendar—is just as famous for its batty hats as it is for its horses. And the Headonists get to show their work not just during London fashion week but also to a captive audience at Ascot itself.
For a millinery master like Stephen Jones, Ascot is a major payday. He’ll make one thousand hats for race-goers. And it’s typical of the sweetest soul in fashion that he would want to share the wealth by curating something like Headonism. “There was no one to show me,” he says, “So it’s great to choose people who are really good and give them a little bit of help.”
This year, the chosen five included Piers Atkinson, already famous for ADR’s cherry headpiece. Though business has been booming for him, especially in the Far East, Atkinson is worried about the effect success might have on his creative freedom. He needn’t bother just yet. What he showed at Headonism mixed Alphonse Mucha’s art nouveau, the Manchu dynasty, a 2-D jigsaw-puzzle headdress inspired by Russian royalty, and a floor-length extravagance of ripped tulle, feathers, and fringing (above) that had Gaga written all over it.
Emma Yeo, in her first season as a hatter, laser-cut and molded wood to replicate the ethereal structure of moths’ wings (above). The technology defied comprehension. Defiance was also key to Aurora Ozma’s headgear. “Plan what you’re wearing around my hats,” said the rock ’n’ roll moll, whose quiff embodied the architectural essence of her designs. Eloise Moody’s work, the most traditional, carried a torch for her hat-wearing granddad.
“I don’t want people to turn out some old stuff I did,” said Jones as he looked around a roomful of his spiritual children. “They’re doing things I would never have thought about.” And yet they wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for him. It was a rare and generous fashion moment when Piers Atkinson said, “Stephen Jones is everything.” It truly couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it: The Brits love their hats. And, seeing as they’re fond of supporting emerging designers, it makes sense the London fashion crew would champion bright new milliners, too. (After all, they need something to wear with their up-and-comer-designed duds.) Curated by Stephen Jones and supported by the Royal Ascot (which hosts the most hat-tastic horse race in the UK, and possibly the world), the four-year-old initiative welcomes three new milliners this season—Aurora (designed by Aurora Ozma), Emma Yeo, and Moody and Farrell (designed by Eloise Moody, whose work is pictured, left). They join veterans Piers Atkinson and William Chambers. “The Fall ’13 Headonism milliners usher in a new wave of excitement in millinery, combining London’s individuality and fine craftsmanship,” Jones told Style.com. “These three [new designers] complement perfectly the astounding talents of the witty Piers Atkinson and poetic William Chambers.” Headonism’s Fall ’13 hatters will unveil their new collections at an exhibition at Somerset House on the first day of London fashion week, which begins on February 15.
Antwerp’s A Magazine has always been much more than a magazine. The key to its cultish allure lies in the subtitle: Curated by. The first issue, in 2004, was curated by Martin Margiela, the most recent by Rodarte. And in between, the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Riccardo Tisci, and Proenza Schouler have corralled their favorite photographers, artists, and writers to make A Magazine.
Issue Number 12, which launches at Bookmarc during Paris Fashion Week, belongs to Stephen Jones, fashion’s favorite hatter. “I like a magazine that looks like a magazine,” he said yesterday. “It’s not a book. I didn’t want it to be page after page of slightly meaningless photographs. That’s why I thought illustration. I love illustration, I draw every day. And that’s the way designers communicate, through drawing.”
Jones’ choice of medium couldn’t be more timely, with the revival of interest in the work of Antonio Lopez and the spotlight that Anna Piaggi’s recent death threw on Vanity, the mythic magazine she produced with Antonio in the eighties. Piaggi was a close friend of Jones’. It was actually Vanity that brought them together. (Jones’ single interaction with Antonio was when he asked if he could see the picture the artist was drawing of him. Antonio crumpled it, threw it in the trash, and offered a flat “No!”). And Jones sees this current project as a kind of tribute to his late friend and inspiratrice.
There’s no theme, unusual for Jones, whose hat collections usually revolve around a story. “When I saw the work coming in, it was very much about the illustrators themselves.” The roster of talent includes David Downton, one of whose pet subjects, Dita Von Teese, models accessories semi-naked and centerfold-style; Peter Turner, Galliano’s illustrator at Dior, who contributes a story on men’s underwear (Jones advertises, “Entirely gratuitous nudity”); and the legendary Howard Tangye, head of womenswear at Central Saint Martins, who illustrates spring for A Magazine‘s pullout calendar.
Jones’ sole brief to the illustrators was that they could draw whatever they wanted. At least half the images are of hats. “It’s you, Stephen,” they told him when he complained that he wanted his magazine to be about everything. He had to shut up and take the compliment. Anyway, there’s always Donald Urquhart’s images of Leigh Bowery to balance the hattage. He drew them with his own genitalia, dipped in ink.
Jones’ own contribution is a selection of ten favorite drawings, which he spent the Christmas holiday picking out of the thousands he’s made since he launched himself as a milliner in 1979. There are also some “conversations in drawing”: Jones would send Mugler or Montana or Kawakubo a suggestion to accessorize a collection, they’d send it back with comments. He’s also included drawings from industrial designers like Zaha Hadid and Marc Newson, as well as some of Raf Simons’ college work. None of it has been seen before.
“I did try to feel like, ‘Think Pink,’ ” says Jones of his guest stint as a magazine editor. “Editing things down is what an editor does. I wanted to edit things up, make it a fantastic showcase. I didn’t want to be restricted by this season’s story. But I didn’t want to be timeless, either. Always what’s interesting for me is doing an amazing hat for Marc or Raf, but then making a baseball cap for a young Japanese guy who comes into the shop. I love variety. That’s what the magazine is about.”
Click here for an exclusive preview of a few illustrations from A Magazine Curated by Stephen Jones >
Keeping the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown hidden from London’s notoriously crafty paparazzi is deserving of accolades in and of itself. But today at Buckingham Palace, Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton was awarded an OBE for her contributions to British fashion. The honor, which stands for Order of the British Empire, has, in the past, been bestowed upon such fashion forces as Professor Louise Wilson of Central Saint Martins (who actually taught Burton) and Stephen Jones, among others.
After Prince Charles presented Burton with her award, The Telegraph asked the designer—who is currently pregnant with twins herself—if she would be making maternity clothes for Kate Middleton. Burton reportedly laughed and said, “I hope I will be.” To be honest, though, we’re more excited to see what she’ll show for McQueen’s upcoming pre-fall collection.