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"My hat is personal. It is what contains the soul, the feeling, the sensation that moves this little world around. It's a secret and I want to keep it as secret as possible"
On 22 September 2013 the late Anna Piaggi's legendary and eclectic hat collection will be showcased to the public in a personal exhibition, at the Palazzo Morando, Milan. In association with the Mayor of Milan, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italia and curator Stephen Jones will celebrate Anna's frivolous and unique collection of "Hat-ology". From a Chanel haute-couture creation to a McDonald's baseball cap, her hats will guide the visitor through her magical life in an exhibition designed to give a flavour of her apartment in Milan. The grand opening will be on 21 September, during Milan Fashion Week. A new audience will be inspired as they discover the secrets of the Piaggi hatboxes.
"Most clients sit patiently while I place a hat on their heads. Anna would take it into her hands, try it on back-to-front, upside-down, pin on a jewel, add a veil... make it her own. Then she would turn to me and with a pout kiss say: 'You see'..."
In April Stephen Jones Millinery launched a major new hat collection with Debenhams department stores, to be sold in twenty eight stores in the UK and internationally online. The collection comprises approximately 30 hats and for the first time, occasion handbags. Stephen describes this first collection as 'Combining lacquered French glamour with floral English charm'. The range goes all the way from minimal straw head bands to maximal flower-strewn tulle portrait hats. The autumn collection of furs, velvets and felts will be in store from the end of August.
In April Aurora Co. hosted a charming tea party for Stephen at the British Embassy in Tokyo to celebrate the launch of a new hat collection. From August, it will be in approximately forty department stores throughout Japan and for spring 2014 the hats will be joined by a fabulous collection of coordinating parasols.
In March Stephen launched in Paris, London and Sydney, biannual 'A magazine curated by' from Antwerp, which he guest edited for the Spring 13 issue.
The magazine, which is primarily about illustration, features beautiful images from Monsieur Dior, Mats Gustavson, and Donald Urquart, as well as special commissions from David Downton, Peter Turner and Giles Deacon amongst many others. Available online from Bruil & van de Staaij.
The V&A exhibition, 'Hats: an Anthology by Stephen Jones', reached the final destination of its world tour, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA, in late 2012. The exhibition, which attracted huge crowds in the UK and Australia, was joined by displays of local New England milliners and a cabinet of wonderful American hats from PEM's own extraordinary collections including a baseball cap from the Boston Red Sox' David Ortiz.
Drawn from V&A and international collections and ranging in style and period from a 17th-century Puritan's hat to a 1950s Balenciaga couture piece to hats by Jones and his contemporaries including the latest creations by young milliners such as Piers Atkinson and Albertus Swanepoel, the exhibition investigated the cultural and historic importance of millinery. The exhibition was arranged in four main themes - Inspiration looked at the myriad of sources including historicism, exoticism and the natural world; Creation explored the techniques, materials and process; The Salon focussed on the buying and selling of hats and the millinery shop; and The Client examined the wearing and etiquette of hats and featured headgear worn by well-known clients of some of the world's top milliners including Gala Dali, Isabella Blow, Anna Piaggi, Dita von Teese.
Some of Stephen's earliest work in Paris is featured in the exhibition 'The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk' which started in The Montreal Museum of Fine Art, and will open in the Kunsthal Rotterdam on the 10th Feb before coming to the Barbican in London in spring 2014.
Diorama; In Autumn 1996 Stephen Jones was invited by John Galliano to be the milliner at Christian Dior. Discover the story of Stephen's tenure at Dior, creating the ultimate in striking, inventive and beautiful hats. This has been recently updated to show his complete oeuvre featuring hats for the collections created by Bill Gaytten and the earliest creations by the revolutionary Raf Simons.
Since 1993 Stephen has created hats for the house of John Galliano - view Stephen's most fantastical creations in La Galerķa de Galliano, now updated.
Stephen Jones launched his first fragrance created in collaboration with Comme des Garcons: 'The perfumed gallery'. In 2014 he will release his second perfume. Please call +44 (0)20 7242 0770, extension 24, for a client list.
Read the fascinating account of Stephen Jones meeting the late iconic Roman couturiere, Simonetta, and browse the elegant 'La Dolce Vita' collection for A/W 2004 that she inspired.