When we bumped into milliner Stephen Jones earlier this week, he couldn't stop smiling. So we decided to find out why. Turns out his Hats: An Anthology exhibition, which only opened at the V&A Museum six weeks ago, has already become its most popular show ever. ‘The V&A told me today that 40,000 people have visited, and we now have plans to take the show around the world. First stop Australia,' he told us. Jones thinks his show's success, which charts the history of hats and examines the technique and the work of prominent hat designers, is down to the fact that people want to have fun being creative with how they dress again. ‘I love the idea that people are interested in the fun of fashion as decoration. It's a nice escape from thinking about the recession isn't it?' It sure is! Stephen Jones worked for three years to pull the exhibition together, but when the grand opening arrived he was remarkably calm. ‘The exhibition launched in the middle of London Fashion Week. I woke up that morning and had a breakfast for 60 milliners from around the world. Then I had the Giles show to do. And finally a party for 1,000 people at the museum, followed by a Vogue dinner. I could have gone mad with stress but I decided, "I'm just going to have fun".' Hard work and lots of fun – that's a fashion philosophy we subscribe to!
- Melanie Rickey