Stephen Jones’ Adventure

Adventure at 'Stephen Jones & The Accent of Fashion'

Photo by Frederik Vercruysse

Stephen Jones & The Accent of Fashion is built around four themes: Adventure, Rococo, Science and Glamour. In Geert Bruloot’s design for the exhibition, each theme is introduced by an enlargement of a hat. Each of the four themes in the exhibition can be read as a story in its own right, with individual chapters or subthemes. This way, MoMu has tried to translate the strong narrative character of Jones’ oeuvre into the exhibition concept. Jones has detailed narratives to accompany many of his hats, populated with fictional characters who bring the hats to life.

The first theme is introduced by an enlarged version of London from Jones’ Travelogue collection. The design of this particular hat was inspired by the film adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days, in which the protagonist, Phileas Fogg, begins his voyage around the globe from a phone box in London. This top hat is decorated on the back with three photographic panels of passport pages. The pages were photographed from Jones’ own passport revealing visas to the United States, Japan and Israel. The hat’s front, bears a coat of arms with the Latin text ex corona ad astra (from the crown to the stars) and the heraldic figures of an owl and a rabbit, references to materials often used in making hats, such as bird feathers and rabbit fur that is processed into felt. The crest moreover features Jones’ own initials, together with a needle, a thimble and a wooden hat mould.