Beanie, babyWednesday, April 25 2012
A couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to be invited by Sarah Mower to accompany her to the Bath in Fashion festival. Being a Bath girl herself, the impassioned ambassador for young talent and renowned fashion journalist travelled down from the capital to share her wisdom and show her support to the newly established event. Bath in Fashion was created to celebrate this chic city’s fashion heritage, and despite this being only its third edition some of the activities and workshops on offer fiercely rivalled those available this weekend, during popular Vogue Fest.
Not to be missed was the the utterly mesmerising (and highly entertaining) Stephen Jones ‘in conversation’ with Maitre Mower. I’m quite sure you are well acquainted with the man who truly is the Milliner King of this day and age, but here’s a quick recap for those of you suffering from fashion amnesia: always the creative soul, it was almost by accident that Stephen discovered that he had the hat factor, while enrolled at St Martins Central in the 70s. After a couple of years creating headdresses for friends and family (never forgetting to keep his own head crowned), he finally opened his own millinery salon in Covent Garden. His client list immediately upgraded to princesses and popstars: from Lady Di to Boy George, including every stylish woman in town, all coveted a fragment of the individuality and charisma that his unique creations would procure.
Back to the present, where Stephen continues to seduce the A-list crowd with his edgy, exquisite pieces; he has also worked with every designer worth mentioning: John Galliano in the Dior days, Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier… You name it. And did he not completely steal Marc Jacobs’s thunder during the fall show with his Edwardian-inspired “Pimp-meets-mad-hatter” headgear? The magician milliner‘s genius lies, as Vogue Hamish Bowles puts it, in his ability to enhance the mystery, allure, and wit of the wearer. And above all else, he makes hats accessible and desirable in an era in which they might otherwise have started to gather dust.
And though you will be forgiven for not adding a Marc Jacobs topper to your fall wishlist, the fact of the matter is hats are happening, whether you like it or not. They are everywhere, in every shape and form. Be it fedoras (colourful at Gucci; masculine at Giorgio Armani), beanies (veiled at Jil Sander; sporty at Victoria Beckham – woops, I mean here), or caps (peaked at Burberry; leather at House of Holland), it looks like hats are going to be the frosting on every outfit this season.
So how does one become a hat girl? Stephen, speak up please! For we need to address the myth that hats only suit others. How much wearable headgear have we tossed aside over the years, disheartened by our reflection in the mirror?
Just as a pair of killer heels will influence the way a woman emotes, hats have the same power. When she puts on a hat, a woman’s very persona changes, both physically and internally. In a way, this can be quite intimidating. But according to Stephen, being a little scared is normal. The real question is are you going to overcome your fear. The modern-day hat-maker encourages us to tame a new friend by getting to know it properly. “Wear it around the house, he says, learn to understand and embrace how it makes you feel”.
So that’s just what I did. It was when I became so comfortable that I almost wore the hat to bed that I decided I was ready for the street. And if after this long-winded epistle you tell me that you too crush the beanie but, well, it’s just not for you, I will eat my (beloved) hat. AMEN.
Voila un billet fastidieux dont le seul but est de vous décrire comment j’ai dompté “la bête”, ce beanie qui trone aujourd’hui sur ma tête. Comme vous le voyez, c’est une longue histoire que je n’ai malheureusement pas encore eu le temps de traduire; je m’y atèle dès que j’ai un moment, en attendant place au look et n’hesitez pas à lire l’anglais hein, ça ne peut pas faire de mal 😉
(Military vest and tee: Zara / Skinny jeans and necklace : Topshop / Pirate Boots: Vivienne Westwood / Bag: Celine / beanie: eBay)
photos by Eva K Salvi