Skip to main content

By Design, a talk series at Sir John Soane’s Museum, in partnership with Luke Irwin, is back for its third season. Internationally renowned designers are invited to discuss their practice through a single object from the Museum. In this talk, Alice Rawsthorn talks to milliner Stephen Jones.

Inspired by Sir John Soane’s own extraordinary collection, and co-hosted by Will Gompertz, Director of Arts and Learning at the Barbican, and Alice Rawsthorn, award-winning design critic and author, the series reflects on the power of objects – large or small, mundane or exceptional, aesthetic or utilitarian – to spark new ideas, and act as a spur for different forms of creativity. 

The talk will take place in the Museum's Library Dining Room. Doors will open at 6:30pm, with a chance to explore the museum by candlelight. The talk runs from 7pm to 8pm, followed by a drinks reception in the South Drawing Room.

Find out more and book your place, via our Shop website.

About the speakers

Stephen Jones was born in Cheshire and schooled in Liverpool. He 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. Forty years later, Jones's era-defining edge continues to attract a celebrity clientele which includes Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Mick Jagger, and Royalty.

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 Christian Dior. Jones' hats have been an integral component in some of the most memorable runway spectacles of the past quarter century.

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.

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and author, whose books include Design as an Attitude, Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and, most recently, Design Emergency: Building a Better Future, co-written with Paola Antonelli, senior curator of design at MoMA, New York. Alice’s weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. In all her work, Alice champions design’s potential as a social, political and ecological tool. Born in Manchester and based in London, she is chair of the board of trustees of Chisenhale Gallery and a founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign for human rights. She and Paola are co-founders of of Design Emergency, a research platform that investigates design’s role in forging a fairer future

Photo: courtesy of Stephen Jones Millinery.

Supported by

Event Info

14 Nov 2022

Doors: 6.30pm

Talk: 7 - 8pm

Drinks: 8 - 9pm

Tickets: £30

Sir John Soane's Museum

Type:
Talks