Stephen Jones on why hats are better than dresses
Stephen Jones reckons hats can pull off charm and “craziness” more than clothing.
The famous milliner is the go-to designer for red carpet events, with many celebrities wearing his creations, and for fashion photoshoots. He’s been in the industry for four decades now and never predicted the fame that would come after he opened his first store in 1980 with the help of late pop singer Steve Strange.
“I never thought about the future, never do really,” he shrugged to Hello! Fashion Monthly. “It’s always a surprise. That’s the wonderful thing. Millinery is a novelty, it’s frivolous. If you did it to a dress, it could be a costume. But a hat has charm, beauty, craziness, whatever – and you can take them off!”
Stephen jokes he often thinks of himself as mad as a hatter, though insists there are occasions in which he is the normal one and everyone else is “bonkers”.
Discussing what’s to come for the millinery business, the quirky star believes it's only just getting started thanks to the support of some big names.
“Obviously, the Duchess of Cambridge is a major influence, as was (Princess) Diana,” he explained. “They’ve made it stylish to dress up for formal occasions. Pop stars and Hollywood are a huge inspiration – especially the men. Think of Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake... they all wear hats. It’s marvellous.”
The hat expert also dished out some advice to budding milliners. There’s three key words which he feels will help them on their journey to success, and they must swear by them.
“Originality, conviction and commerciality,” he listed. “They must want to create a commercial business. That’s what people pay for. Millinery is not just an art lesson.”