Following his graduation from the Saint Martins School of Art in 1979, Stephen Jones gained an initial reputation for his work in the music industry through his collaborations with Boy George, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet. Today, with numerous collaborations with some of the world’s top designers, he is considered one of the most radical and important milliners of the century. In the last 30 years, Stephen Jones not only pushed the boundaries of our imagination through his designs but also reminded the world that the hat is never out of fashion and a valuable accessory that adds the appropriate punctuation to an outfit.
The exhibition was on view between April 8th and June 8th, 2011. ‘Stephen Jones & The Accent of Fashion’ revealed Jones’ unique world of millinery and his collaborations with many of the greatest names in the international fashion scene for three decades: Dior, Comme des Garçons, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Azzedine Alaïa, Walter Van Beirendonck, Vivienne Westwood, Lanvin, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Giles and many more.
The exhibition centers on the Bruloot-Michiels collection, which has been complemented with works from Stephen Jones’s own personal collection and archives, as well as works on loan from the following institutions, designers and fashion houses: Aitize Hanson (Jean Paul Gaultier), Azzedine Alaïa, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, Collection Thierry Struvay, Giles, Huis A.Boon, John Galliano, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Musée des Arts et Histoires Genève – Collection Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain (Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler), Coccodrillo, Anna Piaggi, and Walter Van Beirendonck. The exhibition also deals more closely with his work in film, music, and photography, his early years in the London of the New Romantics, his unique relationship with fashion icon Anna Piaggi, his design process and the sources of inspiration behind his creations. The exhibition was built around four design themes; Adventure, Science, Rococo, and Glamour.
The exhibition is particularly significant for Vakko as Vitali Hakko himself created Vakko in 1934 after having started a millinery shop. Today, under Cem Hakko’s leadership Vakko has established itself as Turkey’s leading luxury fashion house ranging from couture, womenswear, menswear, scarves, perfumes, and home decor. The point of departure of this exhibition was Demet Müftüoğlu Eşeli’s and Pablo Ganguli’s mutual desire to introduce the creative world of Stephen Jones to Turkey. As hats hold a great historic connection with both Vakko and Turkey’s heritage; this exhibition was hugely welcomed appreciated.
NOTE FROM STEPHEN JONES:
“Last year in an elegant dinner in London, pretty ladies and handsome men were honoring VS Naipaul, the British Nobel Laureate. By good fortune, I was sharing a velvet banquette with a captivating Turkish lady who intrigued me with stories of the east; both antique and modern. I was fascinated, as Turkey has always been such a rich source of inspiration for my designs. Our ‘cupid’ and host was Pablo Ganguli, founder of Liberatum and the charming lady was Demet Müftüoğlu Eşeli, creative director of Vakko.
“I described to her the art of hat design and my life on the international fashion stage. She mentioned that Vakko had originally been a hat shop when it opened in the ’30s. I described the amazing exhibition in the MoMu fashion museum in Antwerp curated by Geert Bruloot and how hats can communicate will everyone, not only Fashionistas. Together we dreamt and devised a scheme to bring the 250 hats over the seas to Vakko….From cocktail conversation to glamorous Istanbul!”
6 September 2020