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Palais Galliera in Paris to Spotlight Stephen Jones’ Journey With Major Hat Exhibition

LONDON Stephen Jones and his hats, which range from the spare to the fantastical, will be the subject of a major exhibition at Paris’ Palais Galliera in Paris from Oct. 19 to March 2, 2025.

Stephen Jones at the Palais Galliera” will train the spotlight on more than 200 hats and 50 complete looks created with his longtime collaborators.

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The show will also delve into Jones’ special relationship with Paris and examine his collaborations over the past 40 years with brands including Dior, John Galliano, Comme des Garçons, Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler.

Barbican Mounts The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined Exhibit Walter van Beirendonck Stephen Jones
A look by Walter van Beirendonck and Stephen Jones from an exhibition at the Barbican in London.

Jones is no stranger to a grand scale display, and his work has been showcased at venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Antwerp’s MoMu Fashion Museum and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

This show is set to be different from them all, tracing Jones’ journey from his hometown of Liverpool to London, and from London to Paris.

“Liverpool to London is basically about growing up by the seaside, looking at nature, and not knowing what the hell you want to do when you grew up,” said Jones in an interview.

“When it comes to London, it’s about fashion school, the clubs, dressing up and clothing being your method of expression. But the pivotal move was from London to Paris. Everybody who is not from Paris sees it from a completely different point of view.

“It’s a magical place where fashion, taste, style, glamour is born. Even when we think of Paris now — there is an aura which is completely magnetic,” said the milliner.

Hats will be on display from the beginning of the show, and there will be other materials as well, including a photograph of Jones as a three-year-old with seagull. Later in the show, there’s a hat he made that was inspired by seagulls.

The hats have come from a variety of sources, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Palais Galliera and the MoMu. Some of them are from Jones’ archive, while others have been borrowed from friends, or recreated by the milliner.

There has certainly been a lot for curators, Miren Arzalluz and Marie-Laure Gutton, to choose from.

Jones’ breadth of work is unmatched in the industry: He has fashioned heavy, pharaonic headdresses and paint-splodged artists palettes for Galliano’s runways and woolen, bobbled winter caps for everyday wear.

He’s concocted full-length, marabou yeti outfits with matching hats for Giles Deacon, while for Comme des Garçons, he’s had a gentler touch, twisting metal into delicate crowns.

A piece on display at the "Stephen Jones Hats" exhibition
A Stephen Jones hat.

The show has been a long time coming. Jones had been in talks with the Galliera for five years, and everything was delayed due to lockdown. Now, with Paris open for business and the museum having doubled its exhibition space, Jones’ moment has finally arrived.

The Galliera is one of the few museums worldwide dedicated to fashion alongside the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the gallery of fashion at the V&A and the MoMu.

The Italianate building was commissioned by Maria Brignole-Sale, the Duchess of Galliera, and designed by architect Paul-René-Léon Ginain. It was completed in 1894.

In 1977, it was officially designated as the city’s fashion museum. It owns a permanent collection of more than 200,000 pieces of clothing, accessories, photographs, sketches, industrial designs and prints.

Having doubled its exhibition space, the museum is able to alternate between larger temporary exhibitions, and rotating displays of its archives.

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