A sea of outlandish hats and headpieces will take over London’s Victoria and Albert museum this spring, when “Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones,” opens on February 24.
The exhibition marks something of a homecoming for London milliner Jones, who has trawled the V&A for inspiration since his college days at London’s Central Saint Martins.
The show will be mounted in a Michael Howells–designed Baroque garden, which Jones describes as “an Italian garden at night.” It will spotlight hats that run from an Egyptian mask of Anubis, the god of the afterlife, which dates from 600 BC, to Balenciaga hats from the Fifties, on loan from Princess Lilian of the Swedish royal family, to a Dior arrow cloche that belonged to prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn. Current designers including Philip Treacy and Patricia Underwood, as well as emerging milliners Nasir Mazhar, Albertus Swanepoel and Justin Smith, also will have pieces on display.
“Hats denote status and power,” says Jones. “The ultimate symbol of royalty is a crown.”
That said, the milliner notes that one of his highlights from the show is a lowly Tudor serf’s knitted hat he found in the V&A archives. “It’s knitted in exactly the same way as some hats I was going to do for Galliano,” he says.
The exhibition, which will include many of Jones’ creations for designers including Christian Dior and Comme des Garçons, has in turn influenced Jones’ own creations. His spring collection, Vanda, is inspired by the different themes of the exhibition: Inspiration, Creation, The Salon and The Client.
“That’s been weird to do—the originals are so wonderful and I would just copy them exactly,” says Jones. “But there’s always something different in my own collection, be it the technique or the silhouette.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast