FASHION & DESIGN FESTIVAL: Stephen Jones Conference

This year at Montréal’s Fashion & Design Festival, where Télio is participating in two events, they’ve invited some prestigious fashion industry guests for conferences. We attended a handful of these conferences and will be reporting back to you here on some of the things we’ve learned from the great guests!

Monday night was the first conference, where we found out that the events were going to be interviews instead of actual conferences. Famous milliner Stephen Jones was interviewed by the editor-in-chief of Montréal’s Dress to Kill magazine Stéphane Le Duc.

Stephen Jones Conference

Credit: Télio

In the world of fashion, there are 2 major milliners that do all of the world’s biggest fashion shows and work with some of the most creative people in the industry, there’s Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy. They do it all.

Stephen’s first collection of hats was shown in 1980, he’s released a collection every year since, on top of collaborating with numerous designers and working on a shockingly huge amount of fashion shows every season. Throughout his career he has designed hats for Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Dior, John Galliano, Thom Browne, Thierry Mugler, Comme des garçons & Giles Deacon, amongst others.

Jean Paul Gaultier was instrumental in getting the fashion industry in Paris to notice Jones and pay attention to his work. He made sure that Jones was credited for his work as soon as they started collaborating together. Gaultier was the first major designer to work with Jones. A major part of Monday’s discussion was spent talking about their long friendship and working relationship.

Stephen Jones Hats

Credits: (Left Row) Peter Ashworth/Detroit Free Press, Jason Lloyd-Evans/Wallpaper. (Right Row) Don’t Panic Online, Mert & Marcus/Vogue, Vivien Killilea/NYMag.

Jones also shared anecdotes about working with Marc Jacobs on his final Louis Vuitton couture show, probably the hardest he had ever had to work on a show. Jacobs didn’t quite know what he wanted and when he decided on something, they only had 5 days left to create 60 hats!

More recently, Jones created all the hats featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass. which we assumed was an exhibit on Chinese fashion, but turns out it’s ”through the looking glass” therefore it’s designers interpretation of Chinese dress and culture. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don’t, but it’s those different interpretations that make it interesting. We think it’s a brilliant idea and we hope to catch the exhibit before it closes on September 7th!

Perhaps the funniest story of the night was when Jones told us about the first time he visited Montreal and was set to meet a fashion reporter from the Montreal Gazette at the Ritz-Carlton. He was wearing a Thierry Mugler jacket that was fresh off the runway, but was denied entry into the Ritz-Carlton restaurant because his jacket was too fashionable! They lent him a plainer, cheaper blazer to wear inside. Hilarious!

One can only hope that wouldn’t happen today!