Stephen Jones was born in Liverpool, England in 1957. He graduated in 1979 from St. Martin's School of Art in London. When Stephen Jones left St. Martin's School of Art in London in 1979, hats were yet to become high fashion news for the young. Ethnic styles had spread from the mid-1970s onward, drably cloaking the fashion-buying public with serious good taste and leaving little room for wit or fantasy.
He started off well. In 1979 he designed a hat collection for Fiorucci.
He then joined the eminent French house of Lachasse briefly before opening his own business in 1980. Jone's often asymmetric and outrageous hats quickly became popular with designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler and Zandra Rhodes.
In 1984, Jones became the first British milliner to work in Paris where he created hats for Jean-Paul Gaultier. Since that time he has designed for the collections of Antonio Berardi, John Galliano, Katherine Hamnett, Emanuel Ungaro and Vivienne Westwood, among others.
He makes innovative and witty hats, boaters, caps and bowlers, even miniature top hats as shown here in 1988.
Jones' work is imaginative and in the early 80's his hats appeared in several pop videos. Diana, Princess of Wales, decided to branch out from the traditional royal milliners and often turned to Jones for her hats.
He is credited with helping to revive millinery arts during the latter part of the 20th century, and he is still going strong. In 1990 he launched a number of new accessory and diffusion lines. He has named them MISS JONES, JONES BOY and JONES GIRL.
Jones created some memorable hats for Antonio Berardi's Spring 2002 collection. One was made up of 5 little white bowler top hats threaded on a wire.
Berardi seems to be one of Stephen's favourites.
John Galliano used Stephen Jones tiaras and crowns for his regal Haute Couture Fall 2004 collection, which were really stunning.
Stephen is called on by many leading designers who need hats to show their clothes off to best advantage. His hats have been used in the Spring/Summer 2005 collections of John Galliano for Christian Dior, Emanuel Ungaro, Ghost and Antonio Berardi.
The wedding of the year was in Paris, when Bernard Arnault's daughter Delphine married Alessandro Gancia. The gowns were made by John Galliano, but the hats were mostly made by Stephen Jones including the bridal veil. The maid-of-honour wore a champagne coloured wide brimmed hat with her Dior suit while the Bride's mother wore a lavender lacy hat.
Jones was a champion of the eccentric, the stylish, and the innovative. He could be seen emerging from the morning train at Paddington, dressed like the other commuters in smart pinstriped suiting but with black patent stilettos emerging from his immaculate turnups. He was a great ornament to the clubs and parties of the era, usually wearing one of his own asymmetric and intriguing hats perched on his bald head. An enthusiastic self-publicist, his charm and good humor endeared him to many. Jones' salons—the first in Covent Garden's P.X.—were unique environments, swathed in lush fabric and dripping with gilt cupids, where one might gaze leisurely at his always astonishing and delightful creations. He reinterpreted the chic and quirky styles of the past, cleverly draping, molding, and trimming his hats in a way so personal as to be entirely of its own time. Moreover, Jones' hats are well crafted—a reflection of early work at the traditional couture house of Lachasse.
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