Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones—a collaboration between the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Stephen Jones, the world’s foremost hat designer—was at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) in New York City from September 15, 2011 to April 15, 2012. It was the first venue in this country. The exhibition, which had over 100,000 visitors at the V&A, displayed more than 250 hats chosen with the expert eye of the master milliner.

On display were hats ranging from a twelfth-century Egyptian fez to a 1950s Balenciaga hat and couture creations by Jones and his contemporaries. To show the universal appeal of wearing hats, Jones chose a wide variety of styles such as motorcycle helmets, turbans, berets, and a child’s plastic tiara. There also were hats worn by celebrities such as Madonna, Brad Pitt and Keira Knightley. For the special exhibition at the BGC, the curators arranged for loans particularly relevant to the United States, including Babe Ruth’s baseball cap, Mouseketeer ears, Estee Lauder’s turban, Halston bunny ears worn by Candace Bergen to Truman Capote’s Black & White Ball, and the top hat worn by President Franklin Roosevelt to his fourth inauguration. There was also a display of work by contemporary New York milliners: Ellen Christine, Rod Keenan, Eugenia Kim, Lola, Jennifer Ouellette, Albertus Swanepoel, and Patricia Underwood.

Stephen Jones spearheaded the fashionable revival of British millinery in the early 1980s. Using unusual materials and daring designs, his exquisitely crafted hats have pushed the boundaries of hat design forward for more than three decades. Jones has collaborated with many leading fashion designers including Marc Jacobs, Comme des Garçons, and Christian Dior. He has worked with many celebrity clients including Diana, Princess of Wales, Dita von Teese, Mick Jagger, and Rihanna, and has made hats for the films Atonement, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Coco avant Chanel, and W.E.

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