Stephen Jones Millinery Presentation during London Fashion Week

AHEAD OF HIS TIME: This is Stephen Jones’ 40th anniversary year and he’s only just begun to party. The prolific milliner who’s most certainly become one of Eurostar’s most valued customers, given the number of trips he makes to Paris, held a cocktail party at his Covent Garden shop and atelier to showcase some of his favorite works.

His exhibition was called “It’s About Time,” and Jones dedicated different parts of the store to the major collaborations he’s undertaken over the decades, including Claude Montana and John Galliano for Dior and his own early works for the likes of Boy George and Spandau Ballet.

On display as a delicate, new romantic tricorn hat; a turban with a dramatic swoosh of fabric cascading from the top and a sculptural beret with a rope tie at the side. “These were never big hats for parading at Ascot,” said Jones between sips of Champagne. “They were small because my customers needed to be able to dance in them.”

Stephen Jones Millinery Presentation

Princess Julia, Stephen Jones and Virginia Bates attend the Stephen Jones Millinery presentation during London Fashion Week.  Alberto Pezzali

Indeed, his first shop was on nearby Endell Street, right near the famous Blitz Club in Covent Garden, so Ascot-style hats were not an option then.

Jones said many of the hats are from his archive in Wales — it houses about 600 styles — although the largest collection of his designs lives at the ModeMuseum, or MoMu, in Antwerp, Belgium, thanks to a single collector who starting buying in 1984.

Jones plans to mark the anniversary in earnest later this year with an event at his first Endell Street store, which is now an Italian restaurant called Mode Café.

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