Wed. Dec 7th, 2022

Stephen Jones is a master milliner and considered among the top in the world. This honed and highly skilled craft is sought after by discerning celebrities and royalty from around the world. Jones’s fans include Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Christina Aguilera, Megan Thee Stallion, Madonna and Mick Jagger.

For the uninitiated, millinery is the art of hat making, and Stephen Jones’s talents in the field were recognized by the late Queen Elizabeth II, who awarded him with an OBE in 2010 for his services to the fashion industry.

In 2019, Jones was appointed artistic directorship of hats at Christian Dior. The title came after a steady and illustrious career working with the world’s preeminent houses and designer, namely John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood Thierry Mugler and Thom Browne. Jones was also a favorite for Diana, the Princess of Wales.

This week marks the launch of Jones’ latest collection by way of an unorthodox collaboration with one of the world’s leading apparel pioneers: Stephen Jones has teamed with G-Star— famous for its denim— to create an innovative capsule collection of headwear.

The G-Star RAW x Stephen Jones ‘Haute Denim’ collection features five couture designs. Each exclusive piece shows the exquisite craftmanship from both collaborators, all created in a responsible Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified® denim fabric. Taking inspiration from Jones’ earlier couture creations, the hats become supersized in denim without overlooking any of the intricate, luxury details he’s known for.

Two ready-to-wear hats complete the collection, taking inspiration from classic streetwear styles that boast global popularity: the bucket hat and baseball hat. Both limited edition, ready-to-wear pieces will be available on December 1st via g-star.com.

We caught up with the Liverpool-born milliner on what makes London his personal pride of Britain and his home that he calls “London town.”

London has long been one of the fashion capitals of the world. Why do you think the city has kept this decades-old stature?

I think London is indeed one of the fashion capitals of the world. It’s the fashion capital of innovation and experiment. It’s like that because of tradition, the art school system and the fact that despite Brexit, Britain feels like the center of the world.

What is your favorite hidden gem in London that gives you peace of mind?

The lake in Battersea Park where I run every morning.

Your atelier is located in Covent Garden. Tell us one thing about the neighborhood that even Londoners wouldn’t know?

Hidden in Covent Garden, there’s a workroom that is making some of the finest hats of the world and they don’t realize. They are manufacturing in the West End, which nobody does. I knew Covent Garden in the 1970’s when it was completely boarded-up, and the entire area was going to be demolished.

When you’re not working, what is your favorite pastime in the city?

I love visiting incredible cultural institutions. But most of all I love having a picnic in Queen Mary’s Rose garden on a summers evening.

There are reports that you frequented London’s legendary Blitz nightclub in the eighties. What do you miss most about that era?

For one thing, I don’t miss my youth. What I do miss is the freedom of the unknown.

What souvenir would you advise a first time visitor to London to take home with them?

A British kiss, because it tastes surprisingly good.

If a London staycation is not on the cards, where are your favorite places to travel?

I do like to travel abroad. My particular favorites are Italy, California and Sri Lanka.

You are an OBE honoree. What is your fondest memory of HRH Queen Elizabeth II?

My fondest memory is the combination of her hats and that voice. It’s so individual and so recognizable.

What attracted you most about working with G-Star on a haute denim capsule collection?

What attracted me most is because what they do is the polar opposite of what I do, and therefore it would be an intriguing design challenge. Maybe I would teach them something, but maybe I would learn something too.

Watch the new behind-the-scenes short film of Stephen in his London atelier, conceiving and creating his early designs for the G-Star RAW collection

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