Can the hat make a comeback?

Are the public ready to embrace the hat after years of neglect? In this film made backstage at Stephen Jones Hats in Motion catwalk show up and coming designers make the case for a hat comeback

A A A | Close

Video Transcript


David Redhead, V&A

You’ve said your stated ambition was to revive, or create a bit of a renaissance for the hat. The show has been open for about a month, how’s it going?


Stephen Jones

Incredibly well. We have had, I think in the first five weeks about 40,000 people. To Friday Night Late, when it was Mad Hatters, we had 3,500 people, that was last Friday, so it’s incredibly popular.




Is there going to be a renaissance as Stephen hopes?


Judy Blame

I think there is. It’s a practical thing, it’s a character driven thing. I think that’s why the English are so good at it. You can really change your character with a hat, you can change your mood, you can hide, you can show off…




Maybe something like this will encourage more people to think about doing that.


Nasir Mazhar

I think it will, and I think the thing with people wearing hats, and where it stopped, I think it will take a while for them to see that actually it’s not about wearing all those big stupid hats.




You’ve just had a look at the hats on show at the Millinery in Motion, what did you make of it?


Roksanda Ilincic

I absolutely loved it, every single one of them. I think it’s so great to see something like this and I think it really represents London, and just the flamboyancy of London.



Do you think there is a chance that we shall see more hats out there and more adventure in terms of people wearing them?


Roksanda Ilincic

I absolutely hope so, I’m a big fan, and I’m always the one wearing them so why not? Let’s have more women doing the same thing.




What do you think about the impact of Stephen Jones’ show here? Stephen’s hoping for a renaissance in hats, have you noticed a real impact?


Justin Smith

I think in the last couple of years it’s been building. People have been borrowing a lot of hats for editorial, people have been wearing a lot more hats, people feel a lot more confident to be individual with wearing something. So I think that that’s certainly coming about, and the more publicity that this kind of exhibition and other things create, the more people will have confidence to actually get one back on their head, because I think that’s the main thing, people lost the confidence to do it.




I’ve just been talking to some of the designers backstage, and they’re very excited talking about the possibility of a renaissance in hats. What do you think?


Oriole Cullen

I think it’s quite possible. I think Stephen said something very interesting: maybe in history we’ll look back and think ‘gosh, from the late 20th century to the mid 21st century people stopped putting things on their heads, but that was a blip in the general story’. So, who knows?



Sir Christopher Frayling

It’s become a kind of art form in its own right, and gained in confidence, and it’s fantastic, and it’s all really happened in the last fifteen years. And it’s something the Brits are very, very good at. Fashion in Motion at the V&A on a Friday night is such fun, you can feel it, it makes the place really hip.


This film asks Stephen Jones and assorted young British milliners if the hat can make a comeback as a fashion staple after years of steady decline.Co-curated by leading international milliner Stephen Jones,  the V&A’s 2009 exhibition Hats: An Anthology celebrated the art and manufacture of  millinery throughout the ages. This film was shot  behind the scenes at a catwalk show staged during the exhibition in the V&A's Raphael Gallery.

It features several of Britain's most creative young milliners, among them Nasir Mazhar and Justin Smith and also includes contributions and comments from fashion designer Roksanda Illincic and stylist, Judy Blame.