ModeMuseum opens its doors to the flamboyant vision of British milliner Stephen Jones as he celebrates thirty years at the helm of hat design.
Every now and again a lot of fashion people show up in Antwerp. Reason being, the city’s ModeMuseum hosts exhibitions from world-renowned fashion icons before any of the fashion capitals get a look in. Succeeding the 2008 Maison Martin Margiela ’20′ exhibition, is Stephen Jones & The Accent of Fashion, which opened with a bang last week. In accordance with the exhibition’s title, Stephen’s hats have provided an acute accent on fashion collections for three decades, collaborating with Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Comme des Garçons, Azzedine Alaïa, John Galliano, Christian Dior and many more. With long-time friends and creative partners in attendance, Peter Ashworth told i-D Online, “if I had to sum up Stephen Jones in three words they would be generous, free and solid. He is the exact same person I met thirty years ago.”
The retrospective features a whopping one hundred and twenty of Stephen’s one-off designs, courtesy of private collectors Geert Bruloot and Eddy Michiels, as well as larger-than-life show pieces and lesser-known film works, music and photography. Spilling out of decadent giant hat boxes, the collections are separated into four categories; Adventure, Science, Rococo and Glamour. Guests sampled Stephen’s latest chocolatier-ing venture, a collection of exquisite miniature chocolate hats based on his favourite designs. Photographer and filmmaker George Harvey flew to Antwerp on behalf of i-D for the grand opening, where Stephen gave us our very own tour.