Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Master Milliner Stephen Jones

Yesterday we caught up with the master milliner, Stephen Jones, at Coworth Park for a quick chat about key trends for Spring/Summer 2013 and of course, the highlight of the millinery calendar... Royal Ascot.

World-renowned milliner, Stephen Jones, is curator of the Headonism initiative, which with the support of the British Fashion Council and sponsored by Royal Ascot, showcases a selection of the newest and most exciting millinery talent. Expectations are high with the summer social season just around the corner and an array of exciting fashions and millinery on offer!

You started your career by studying fashion design at Central St Martins - how did you end up working with hats?
I was a tailoring intern as I wanted to improve my sewing skills and was then transferred to the millinery workroom.

How would you describe your style of hats?
‘Elegant humour’

What materials and techniques do you favor?
The most classic material such as, pure white cotton, perfect black velvet and lustrous pink satin, or Day-Glo plastic.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
By everyday life.... but in particular, architecture

What are your top tips for Spring/Summer 2013 style?
The Duchess of Cambridge is still a front-runner on this front, but I expect a softening of her signature chic.

What are your key colours/designs for this Spring/Summer?
A lot of soft grey, blue and white, spiced with hot pink and vivid turquoise.

Is it best to match your hat to your dress or vice versa?
It’s best to match your hat with your face and then your clothes will follow on from that.

Should the hat be the focal point of the outfit?
No, the hat shouldn’t be the focal point of the outfit. The hat is merely a frame but it can be a conversation point too.

As curator of Headonism, how does it feel to be an ambassador for millinery?
It’s a tremendous honour and I am delighted to be able to mentor and ease the path of young British millinery talent.

Do you have a favourite type of hat?
Yes, a Top Hat or developments of a Top Hat because it always adds sex appeal, whether the wearer is male or female.

How important is millinery to Royal Ascot and British culture?
Together with the attendance of The Royal Family of course and the wonderful horses it is millinery and fashion that make Royal Ascot one of the most special events in the world.

A selection of Stephen Jones' designs can be found on our Royal Ascot Style Guide video.

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