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The BoF Podcast: Stephen Jones on the Craft of Millinery

In this week’s episode of Inside Fashion, BoF’s editor-at-large Tim Blanks sits down with Stephen Jones, the prolific hatter who has played a defining role in millinery for decades.
Stephen Jones | Photo: Frederic Aranda
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LONDON, United Kingdom — His designs have crowned the heads of all kind of royalty — from Rihanna to Princess Diana — and have appeared in countless runway collections, including those of Comme des Garçons and Dior. But what drew Stephen Jones to millinery in the first place, and where does he place hats in the wider scope of fashion and culture?

"They communicate in a way that clothing can't," says Jones, who describes the world of hats as one of accessible entertainment and optimism, even in the bleakest of times. Such a philosophy goes hand-in-hand with the "mass entertainment" appeal of museum shows, which represent a large portion of Jones's accomplishments in recent years. His namesake exhibition at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, on view now until June 9, 2019, is the latest in Jones’s work as a curator of hat-based museum shows.
But a hat, he notes, is not just designed to be a standalone sculpture, nor is it subservient to the cultural authority of its origins. Be it through couture collaboration or designing for a celebrity, "interpretation by others is the magical part," he says.

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