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THE FINE PRINT: Why did you concentrate on hats? Where does the fascination come from?
STEPHEN JONES: Because it’s the dot on the I, and probably the most important accessory. But initially I liked making hats because it was making a solid not a fluid object.
TFP: Since the blow up of street style in the 70s, what has evolved in your field?
SJ: In the 70’s hats were really a mark of etiquette and of social position, nowadays hats are more about fashion and the styles themselves are more casual and more expressive of fun and your point of view.
TFP: Some of the greatest chapeliers are British like yourself – do you think there is a reason for that? Something in the London air that makes you wanna put a hat on?
SJ: Maybe it is the London air, but probably what it is most importantly, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth because she is a real hat wearer and patron, and she has kept that tradition alive through all the social events, which happen in Britain.
TFP: What are the funkiest special orders you’ve had?
SJ: Special orders, I have had to make hats with dry ice falling down it. I’ve made hats that light up, I’ve made hats that take off like helicopters. The sky’s the limit.
TFP: What do you see for the future of your industry, considering Couture is going through a radical shift right now?
SJ: In a world of commercialisation people love the idea something is made specially for them and people are prepared to pay money for that. Like at Maison Martin Margiela, with the ‘Artisan’ collection.