Monday, February 23, 2009

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones

One of my favourite fashion haunts is the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. Their exhibitions are divinely inspired and innovative. Their latest exhibition Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones opens tomorrow (February 24, 2009 - May 31, 2009). Stephen Jones is a top-notch London milliner who has designed hats for people such as Princess Diana and Isabella Blow. He often works in collaboration with fashion designers like John Galliano and Marc Jacobs.

In this exhibition at the V&A, Jones has curated this exhibition of over 300 hats for their cultural and historical importance. "Historic hats redolent of romance and adventure are a constant source of inspiration for many milliners. Simple folded shapes such as the tricore can be reimagined, evoking the drama of a bygone age."

I won't be able to make it over to see the V&A in person for this show but I was thrilled that I could actually view many of the hats on-line. There is also a mesmerizing video of how a hat is created. Making a hat is a labour of love to be sure! And if you'd like to see Stephen Jones talk about his life and his work, check out the youtube video.

Seeing this exhibition online reminded me of a glorious hat that I bought a few years back and have tucked in the back of my closet. I've never had the nerve to wear it but the quote from French fashion editor Genevieve Dariaux seems appropo: "take the one you fall in love with, which mysteriously does something for you, which magically makes you feel more beautiful." I felt beautiful and mysterious when I tried on this hat in the shop. Maybe it is time to actually wear it!