In homage to excellence of savoir-faire and the art of elegance, House of Dior presents the book DIOR HATS From Christian Dior to Stephen Jones (published by Rizzoli NY), unveiling over 70 years of creative passion*.
In Christian Dior’s hands, the hat became a major symbol of French haute couture and elegance. “It’s the best way to express your personality,” he wrote of his favourite accessory, which featured in every one of his twenty-two collections, from 1947 to 1957.
From top, clockwise: Gelatined silk chiffon hat sculpted into a “wave” form, Spring–Summer 2009 Haute Couture collection. Christian Dior by John Galliano. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Rhinestone-studded toque, Sourire design, in plum-colored embroidered velvet, Autumn–Winter 1990 Haute Couture collection, Contes et légendes d’une nuit d’hiver … Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Small asymmetric cloche in velour felt pierced by a matching arrow, Mère Michel design, Autumn–Winter 1949 Haute Couture collection, Milieu du siècle line. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Photograph by Sølve Sundsbø, 2019.
From Monsieur Dior’s fabulous hats to those that matched haute couture silhouettes by Yves Saint Laurent, floral toques by Marc Bohan, majestic, wide-brimmed hats by Gianfranco Ferré, extravagant confections by John Galliano, poetic creations by Raf Simons and feather headdresses by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the book DIOR HATS From Christian Dior to Stephen Jones revisits sumptuous moments. A series of exclusive, never-before-published photographs by Sølve Sundsbø, as well as emblematic images by fashion’s greatest photographers showcase this key essential. A celebration of distinction at its quintessence.
Whether woven from straw, punctuated with sprigs of lily of the valley, shaped from taffeta or leather, ranging from whimsical bibis to delicate bob hats trimmed with veils – a nod to the marvels worn by Mitzah Bricard, the founding couturier’s divine real-life caryatid and collaborator – Dior hats are a signature unto themselves, an embodiment of sophistication and femininity.
Compiled under the virtuoso eye of Stephen Jones** – milliner to the House of Dior since 1996 – this unique tome unearths archival treasures, taking the reader on a fantasy odyssey of discovery through a mix of words and images dedicated to these fascinating objects of desire.
From top to bottom: Silk “halo of anemones” hat, Christian Dior–New York, 1964. Christian Dior by Marc Bohan. Photograph by Bert Stern. COPYRIGHT: Bert Stern/Condé Nast via Getty Images. Tulle bonnet trimmed with fuchsia-tinted turquoise organdy bows, mingled with sprigs of pink lily of the valley, circa 1970. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Bonnet covered with flowers, circa 1965. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Large toque covered with multicolored roses, circa 1965. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Photograph by Sølve Sundsbø, 2019. COPYRIGHT: Sølve Sundsbø, 2019.
*This illustrated book was supposed to mark the exhibition Chapeaux Dior! L’Art du chapeau de Christian Dior à Stephen Jones, which was to be held at the Christian Dior Museum in Granville, Normandy, in 2020. In light of the current context, the exhibition will be held at a later date.
**Stephen Jones, Dior’s milliner and the artistic director of the exhibition Chapeaux Dior! L’Art du chapeau, de Christian Dior à Stephen Jones, penned the book’s texts, with contributions from Florence Müller, the exhibition’s curator, and the writers and journalists Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, Alexander Fury and Dean Rhys Morgan as well as Vincent Leret, patrimony project manager at Christian Dior Parfums.
From top to bottom: Garland of silk wildflowers, adorned with bees, Brise de mémoires design, Spring–Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection.Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Photograph by Tierney Gearon. COPYRIGHT: Tierney Gearon. Veiled beret, Numéro 157 design, Autumn–Winter 2019 Haute Couture collection; “handkerchief ” veil edged with grosgrain, Insomnia design, Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Spring–Summer 2018 Haute Couture collection. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Photograph by Sølve Sundsbø, 2019. COPYRIGHT: Sølve Sundsbø, 2019.
Starbright straw “bibi” with filigree brim, accented with taffeta drape, one-off piece made by Stephen Jones after a watercolor-enhanced drawing by Christian Dior for the milliner Claude Saint-Cyr, 1937. Photograph by Sølve Sundsbø, 2019. COPYRIGHT: Sølve Sundsbø, 2019.
About Stephen Jones
Born in Cheshire, and schooled in Liverpool, Stephen Jones burst on to the London fashion scene during its explosion of street style in the late seventies. By day, he was a student at St Martins; after dark he was one of that era’s uncompromising style-blazers at the legendary Blitz nightclub – always crowned with a striking hat of his own idiosyncratic design.
By 1980, Jones had opened his first millinery salon in the heart of London’s Covent Garden. Those premises soon became a place of pilgrimage and patronage, as everyone from rock stars to royalty, from Boy George to Diana, Princess of Wales, identified Jones as the milliner who would help them make arresting headlines.
Jones made millinery seem modern and compelling. In materials that were often radical, and in designs that ranged from refined to whimsical, his exquisitely crafted, quixotic hats encapsulated the fashion mood of the moment. Forty years later, Jones’s era-defining edge continues to attract a celebrity clientele which includes, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Elle Fanning, Jennifer Lawrence, Mick Jagger, and Royalty. Rei Kawakubo is only one name in the roll call of fashion designers with whom Jones has collaborated. Since the early 80s Stephen Jones has collaborated with designers from Vivienne Westwood and Claude Montana through to his current work with Thom Browne and Marc Jacobs, Jones’ hats have been an integral component in some of the most memorable runway spectacles of the past quarter century. In Autumn 1996 Stephen Jones was invited by John Galliano to be the milliner at Christian Dior. 24 years later, Stephen is still the creative director of Millinery working closely with Maria Grazia Chiuri they’re creating striking and whimsical hats that every woman would like to wear.
Today, Jones’ retail boutique, design studio and workroom are all located in a charming Georgian townhouse close to the site of his very first millinery salon. In addition to his Model Millinery collection, he designs the widely-distributed Miss Jones and JonesBoy diffusion ranges.
In 2009 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, he curated the hugely popular exhibition ‘Hats, an Anthology by Stephen Jones’, breaking attendance records around the world. In addition his hats are also collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris. Now, as ever, at the forefront of fashion, his beguiling hats routinely grace the most celebrated magazine covers and enliven window displays of the world’s most stylish stores. From runways to race-courses, from pop-promos to royal garden parties, millinery by Stephen Jones adds the exclamation mark to every fashion statement.