Showstudio Interview: In Fashion, Stephen Jones
You will well know my love of Showstudio and Alex Fury's recent interview with Stephen Jones (do I need to introduce him as the most accomplished and influential milliner of the past three decades?) is one example of why. How many interviews get your heart racing on aethetics alone? Not to say that the words and thoughts of this man of many hats aren't an absolute delight - he gives probably the most enjoyable interviews of anyone I admire and this is one of them - but they do look great. The directors resist becoming seduced by their own cleverness and losing focus on the point of the inteview - extracting wonderful stories from their subject who in this case is the lovely Stephen Jones, who recounts significant moments from his life in fashion.
He also discusses the context around his hats as they pertain to fashion's most influential designers with whom he has longstanding working relationships (but says nothing of the fact that he looks a bit like my uncle Roger).
Karl Lagerfeld (when he was at Chloe): "He was the only designer in Paris who was using hats. He was the one person who saw how a hat on a runway makes a very special notation or focus."
Jean Paul Gaultier: Months after being asked to model in one of his Paris shows (and not being able to due to a motorbike accident), Gaultier and Jones watched a film of the show together. Gaultier then asked him to design the hats for his menswear collection. This became Stephen Jones' first season in Paris and caused him to fall out of favour with the British Fashion Council, who he told to 'bugger off'!
John Galliano: "John works in a very character driven way. He will create this extraordinary story of somebody and it will be a person, a simple muse, in his head and he will create a storyline around her. The hats will fit into parts of the storyline, they'll be almost a punctuation within the storyline of the clothes."
Rei Kawakubo: When I get a brief from her it will normally be by fax, which I love, and it will be a few words written down. Maybe she'll do a little sketch, maybe she'll just say 'I don't know', and that will be the brief. She doesn't want me to undestand what she wants." (This story is particularly noteworthy if you're interested in Rei's creative process.)
Marc Jacobs: "We'll have a conversation. I remember the third season I worked with him he said 'There are two ladies going shopping in Italy. Florence or Rome? Rome. Will they have lunch? Yes. Are they going to Ferragamo or Gucci? No no no, they're going shopping for fine leather gloves.' I said 'Ok, I'll design a hat to go with that.'"
You can watch the interview here.