Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones - the private view
ORIOLE CULLEN (V& A CO-CURATOR)
David Redhead Oriole you look fabulous. Is that a Stephen Jones hat?
Oriole Yes it's a Stephen Jones special. We had lots of wrangling over what I was going to wear, but Stephen said it had to be a tiara.
David What should people be looking out for? What's your favourite exhibit?
Oriole Gosh. There's so much to see really… It's so hard to decide, there's over 350 hats. There's something for everybody, there are hats worn by famous people, there are hats by new milliners, hats by Stephen, by Philip Treacy and lots of other fantastic milliners, so it's something for everyone.
David Brilliant, thank you.
David Tell us about the hat you chose tonight
Stephen The hat I chose tonight is a French Basque beret and I've had eight Indian men working on it for two weeks to sew all the beads on. These are the finest bugle beads you can buy. They actually have to sew them on with a stiffened thread because they're too fine to get a needle through.
David So the day has arrived for all this work, two years of work.
Stephen And more
David Are you happy with the results?
Stephen Yes it's been amazing, absolutely incredible. When I see it today, it's exactly how I wanted it to be. The only thing that isn't here is Carmen Miranda's hat not arrived from Brazil yet. But that's coming by the end of next week.
ERIN O'CONNOR David So tell me about your fabulous hat.
Erin Some bloke called Stephen Jones made it. I don't know, he's up and coming. Maybe he'll make it, maybe he won't!
David Who's frock are you wearing?
Well I thought if I was going to go Stephen Jones, I had to wear Vivienne Westwood. I mean you don't get to rock up to the V& A, the most beautiful institution in the world very often, so I thought drama and theatre.
ROISIN MURPHY David Hi, so no hat?
Roisin No, no hat for me tonight?
David Why not?
Roisin I know I usually have (laughs) I actually didn't get a chance to go out and borrow one or buy one, so here I am, I made a hat with my own hair.
PHILIP TREACY David So tell us about your hat tonight.
Philip It's an antique 1920s top hat from Locks that's had a whole other life of its own.
David As a milliner, you probably know best of all what makes Stephen a special milliner, what is it do you think?
Philip Well he has his own point of view and people that have there own point of view have more success because the world is full of copiers and there are few originals.
MANOLO BLAHNIK David Are you a big fan of Stephen Jones?
Manolo I am a great fan of Stephen Jones; in fact he's one of the few great ones in this world of fashion, which is a great artist.
GILES DEACON David What is it that makes… its one thing being a scholar but what about.what does he (Stephen Jones) bring that's special?
Giles Spontaneity is the thing I love the most about him. He's like a magician. He conjures up the most beautiful things so quickly and rapidly and just takes things into another dimension that you would never have thought imaginable.
COLIN MCDOWELL David And is this a highlight of Fashion week for you?
Colin It's THE highlight. It's probably the highlight of the fashion year as far as London is concerned. And I'm very pleased to see there are lots of people here from Milan and Paris and New York it's pulled them all in. They haven't come for London Fashion week; they've come for Stephen. It's homage to Stephen.
Patsy I suppose in cash strapped times a nice hat can make an outfit and it's a more economical way of dressing up something.
David Well they do say, "If you want to get ahead…
Patsy ..get a hat. (laughs) There we go. Boom. Boom.
ALEX JAMES David And your hat?
Alex I'm a hair man, not a hat man. I think you just have to find out what you are and accept it really.
JASPER CONRAN David Tell me why do designers need milliners? Why can't they do the hats themselves?
Jasper Well it's a different craft; it's a very exact specific craft, hat making and millining. You can have an idea but to execute it is a different thing.
David You've worked with Stephen a lot?
Anna No… he works, I wear.
DAVID WALLIAMS David Not wearing a hat tonight?
David Walliams Well the thing is I'm very tall and if I wear a hat I get even taller, I've got a beautiful bowler and top-hat that I got from Lock & Co, they're like antiques, beautiful. But I'd like to get more into them. I might get Stephen to make a nice hat for Matt, because Matt wears hats.
David What sort of hat do you fancy?
David Walliams Sort of a Robin Hood hat or something like that.
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