Who needs an ego when you are the best at what you do?
Last night the Design Museum and Colin McDowell hosted a talk with Stephen Jones. It was refreshing to discover that one of the major figures of British fashion has little ego and is a very good sport when it comes to discussing his career. Stephen attended a boarding school where students were either expected to play rugby or run the Empire, then on to St Martins to study millinery.
In his candid tales there is sheer determination. Making hats is his passion, the acclamation for his creations seems secondary. His career seemed to have happened through fortuitous encounters with young designers such as Montana, Gaultier and Mugler, It was also a period in which fashion was becoming a mainstream cultural event, as he quotes “fashion was our drug”. His take on fashion is closer to haute couture than high street, it is embedded in the nature of what he does and how he does it.
Behind his eponymous label there are no plans of global expansion but a philosophy to attract clients from across the globe to his Great Queen Street store. Stephen’s creations are conceived for each client, from private ones to the many designers that ask him to contribute to their collections. Everything can be turned into a hat. It is a free flowing process, from his brain through his hand on a white sheet then made into an exquisite piece of millinery. Sketches are merely the starting point and never too technical to keep his mind free from restrictions. As in a stream of consciousness, Stephen Jones hats tell his history.
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Blogged by Fabio Ciquera