Stephen Jones

STEPHEN JONES: From Georgiana to Boy George
24 March to 8 May 2012

As part of Bath In Fashion 2012 milliner Stephen Jones has curated an exclusive exhibition at the Holburne Museum. A selection of his hats made over the past thirty years will be beautifully displayed on vintage mannequin heads in the stunning surroundings of the Holburne's ballroom gallery among its own collection of eighteenth-century silver and porcelain.

Wedgwood hat by Stephen Jones
Wedgwood hat by Stephen Jones

The free exhibition will run from 24 March to 8 May and is sponsored by Bath & North East Somerset Council. The designer’s passion for museums started when he studied at St Martins School of Art. A Stephen Jones hat can be inspired by a historical discovery or an imagined narrative prompted by an artifact, painting or photograph. His designs have been drawn from relics of the Renaissance to cluttered Victoriana, the glamour of the 1930s and the Swinging Sixties. The Georgian era is a period he returns to again and again, especially the Regency.

Stephen Jones notes, “I am delighted to be part of Bath in Fashion. For me, Bath has always been synonymous with fashionable chic and elegance; be it the sculpted sweep of a Roman toga, or the world-famous 'Dress of the Year' at Bath Fashion Museum.

I am thrilled to be 'In Coversation' with Vogue fashion doyenne Sarah Mower, herself Bath born and bred, I look forward to sparkling repartee whilst describing my crazy world.

It is a total honour for me to also be collaborating with the Holburne Museum and Iain R. Webb, on an innovative yet charming installation of my hats where the purity of the Georgian setting perfectly counterbalances the whimsy of millinery.”

As part of this year’s exciting programme of talks, catwalks and workshops respected fashion journalist Sarah Mower, who originally hails from Bath, will be in conversation with Stephen Jones on Friday 30 March at 4pm. Jones will talk about his love of the neo-classical architecture, the Romantic poets, fluttering plumes, bonnets and turbans. History between every seam. 

Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Holburne says: “Like so many great designers Stephen Jones is in constant dialogue with the designers and makers of the past. I can’t wait to welcome his stunning hats into our museum and to see the conversations they strike up with our collection – it should be quite a party. “

With a career that spans more than 20 years at the forefront of fashion journalism reviewing the catwalk shows in London, Milan and Paris – Mower is probably the most read fashion critic in the world. Her influence and global reach is second to none. A critic for American Vogue, she is the British Fashion Council’s Ambassador for emerging talent and was awarded an MBE in October for Services to the Fashion Industry.

During his career Stephen Jones has worked with some of the world’s most prominent fashion houses and designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler, Christian Dior, John Galliano and Marc Jacobs. Colin McDowell once wrote, “what Manolo Blahnik is to feet, Stephen Jones is to heads.’

Bath in Fashion 2012 certainly features fashion from top to toe with another headline speaker, Manolo Blahnik in conversation with Iain R Webb on Thursday 29 March also at the Holburne Museum. Other highlights include a series of stunning fashion shows with a retrospective catwalk show by Amanda Wakeley, Vintage Sunday featuring Pearl Lowe and Barbara Hulanicki introducing the film that tells her story, “Beyond Biba”.

For tickets and more information on Bath in Fashion visit

Notes to editors

Stephen Jones biography:
Born in Cheshire, Stephen Jones attended St Martins School of Art in the late 1970s. He was a one of the original New Romantic style setters and in 1980 he opened his first millinery salon in Covent Garden with clients including everyone from Steve Strange to Lady Diana. He was soon asked to create hats for catwalk shows by Jean Paul Gaultier, Comme des Garçons, Claude Montana and Zandra Rhodes. He has had a long-time collaboration with John Galliano and Dior that spans twenty years. His boutique and atelier is still based in Covent Garden and his client list now boasts style icons such as Italian Vogue’s Anna Piaggi and France’s First Lady Carla Bruni, pop queens Beyoncé and Kylie Minogue and international designers such as Marc Jacobs, Giles Deacon and L’Wren Scott. In 2009 he curated the exhibition, ‘Hats, an Anthology’, at the V&A and was awarded an OBE. Jones is one of British Fashions most loved characters. He has been described as ‘the most original milliner working today’.

Bath in Fashion 2012 - Celebrating Style from Top to Toe
Continuing the legacy as a city at the centre of fashionable life, Bath in Fashion 2012 celebrates style from top to toe. This year's event will showcase two of British fashion's most influential designers: shoe designer Manolo Blahnik and milliner, Stephen Jones. Both will be sharing their style secrets during Bath in Fashion 2012, which is gearing up for another glamorous, action packed week (25th March - 1st April 2012.) Other highlights include workshops by textile artist Karen Nicol and Julian Roberts who created the subtraction cutting technique; and talks by Matteo Alessi; fashion legend Roger Saul creator of Mulberry, and Rosemary Harden, Manager of the Fashion Museum and a day dedicated to Vintage Fashion featuring a Bath VA Vintage Fashion Fair and Secret Tea Party with Best Dressed couple judged by Pearl Lowe.

Catwalk shows staged by London Fashion Week supremo, John Walford include the glam Guildhall show for Spring Summer '12 collections; a retrospective by guest designer Amanda Wakeley and a glittering designer fashion affair at the Assembly Rooms. Stephen Jones has a special exhibition of his extraordinary millinery at the Holburne Museum and will be talking with one of the world's most influential fashion editors Sarah Mower. Famous Bath resident, Manolo Blahnik will be in conversation with Iain R.Webb and the Little Theatre Cinema plays hosts to fashionable films like Beyond Biba introduced by the person behind the brand, Barbara Hulanicki and Sir Christopher Frayling introduces one of his favourite films.

Bath in Fashion is a Bath Business Improvement District initiative with support from Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bath Tourism Plus and sponsorship from Banana Republic, Mallory, SouthGate, Milsom Place, CircleBath, Fabulous, Andrews and Juice Recruitment.

For tickets and information please visit

The Holburne Museum houses an important art collection formed by Sir William Holburne in the nineteenth-century, which includes paintings, silver, sculpture, furniture and porcelain of national and international significance. Artists in the collection include Gainsborough, Guardi, Stubbs, Ramsay and Zoffany. The Museum reopened in May 2011 after ambitious renovations and a new extension by Eric Parry Architects. The Holburne has fast gained a reputation as one of a number of outstanding regional museums in the UK and is currently in the running to win the Art Fund’s prestigious ‘Museum of the Year’ 2012

The Art Fund has sponsored The Museum Prize since 2008. The Art Fund is the national charity which helps museums and galleries to buy, show and share art for the enjoyment of all. Over the past five years, the Art Fund has given £24 million to buy art and supported a range of projects and programmes aimed at helping more people enjoy art. The Art Fund is independently funded and the majority of its income comes from almost 90,000 supporters who purchase a National Art Pass, costing from just £37.50, which gives free entry to over 200 museums, galleries and historic houses across the country as well as 50% off major exhibitions.

The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB
Open daily, free admission 10am to 5pm (11am to 5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays)
Tel: 01225 388569 email:

Published on: 06/02/2012