January 25, 2011

You know something is happening here, but you don't know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?

This is the kind of post I've been putting off until I thought I'd magically become better at writing because this experience deserves a recap that I can't really provide. But the story deserves telling, so way back in September, I went to Antwerp for the opening of Stephen Jones' exhibition at the MoMu to see decades' worth of the milliner's designs and to get inside the head behind the hats. (Did I lure you in with my movie trailer-like pun? No? Go back and read it in this voice and you'll see what I mean.)

The exhibit is named the Accent of Fashion, but proves that an accent doesn't have to mean a mere addition, and in this case can be more of an exclamation point. The hats are displayed in four parts -- Adventure, Rococo, Science, and Glamour -- offering a look into how Mr. Jones draws from varied sources for inspiration and sees his art in relation to the world around him. Throughout the room are photographs by the likes of Juergen Teller and Nick Knight and mannequins complete with the full looks of designers like Comme des Garcons and Dior, showing how different creatives have interpreted his work and vice versa. It's easy to see his importance as a figure in fashion right away.

What's more, the hats can be reflective of Stephen Jones himself, brimming with character. He is the Mad Hatter, and a short documentary on Mr. Jones showing in one room of the exhibit allows us to see this correlation between the artist and the art. The clip also helps put into perspective his work in a cultural context, more specifically, punk/DIY roots. I got the feeling watching it that only from starting out by making hats for his school friends could one develop such a clever use of resources (train tickets, Doc Marten soles, Barbies, and shattered mirrors, to name a few).

In the DIY vein, I was asked to cut the ribbon with Mr. Jones, as a blogger and stuff. At first I panicked because I thought they meant my ribbon, the one I wear on my head, but apparently they meant the ribbon for the exhibit! I obviously felt very honored, but the Oscar speech I'd prepared in my African Cats voice was cut off by all the people rushing in. It still felt special to open it with Mr. Jones (who I refer to as that mostly because then I can pretend I'm in a Bob Dylan song) and, as someone with at least an ounce of appreciation for creativity, see the exhibit.

And now photos! This is only the beginning, more are here.

Each section began with a giant version of a hat that was accurate right down to the details. This one was for "Rococo."













































Thank you to United Airlines and VisitFlanders.us for helping to sponsor this trip.

154 comments:

pauline said...

I love the photos, and the great white dress!
This is a awesome inspiration!

xoxo paulien

Shelly. said...

Beautiful hats, but so hard to pull off. Pure artistry, I love it. :)

xo.

Shelly.

wallflower said...

Wow, haha, those sure are unique. Quite inspirational.

Jenae said...

I would be lying if I didn't tell you how jealous this made me. That looks like an incredible site to be seen! I must see these in person now.

Bella said...

This just proves that fashion is one of the best forms of art. These hats are artistic creations. Beautifulmagicalcoolawesomewow.

Hanna said...

I really want to see that movie! That part with the gator and lion got me. Also.....Mad hatters!!11!

Mary ❤ Mur said...

every photo in your style.)*

Claudine Barker said...

HOw bizarre is that. I just finish making a hat (too lazy to go buy one) for a 21st.
I was happy, now I'm not. I want a Mr jones!!!

readysetfashion said...

this is a stunning post. thanks for sharing so many images.
the chrome hat is spectacular!

Dark Blue Jeans said...

tavi :)

i love your work.
love dyour hat at the Dior Couture show.

please check my blog and tell me what you think of it :)

love x

Lala said...

Pretty good! <3

Kaysens nye klæder said...

Woow! I would love to see that in real life! These hats are absolutely stunning! I don't know what to write.. It looks awesome!

Crystal said...

I wish hats played a larger part in my everyday life. I totally want to see these in person. I keep saying that when I come home from the UK I'm going to bring a crazy Ascot hat with me.

Blond Panther & Louboutin... said...

GREAT pics ;)
http://magmoiselle.fr/?p=2737

Brianna said...

Those are cool hats!
bri-thestylesavant.blogspot.com

thwany said...

these hats are so beautiful.

Rae Gross said...

Total eye candy! Thanks for posting :)

Sarah Dee said...

The hat on the white dress was the best to me! And the one that looks like water! AMAZING

<3 Sarah
theantiquepearl.blogspot.com

Becky-May said...

I love hats, I wish people would wear more hats in day to day life! His designs are amazing!

The Flower Girl

thebohemiangoods.blogspot.com

Mitchie said...

I never really liked hats but you showed me a different way of looking at them. Maybe I will try to wear them sometime.

Kerli. said...

Truly amazing !

Kera said...

Unique, once again! Love...this...post! xo

JC said...

I've been there, I've made photos of this exhibition and now it's like - style rookie has been there, style rookie has made photos of this exhibition. Wow, feels great.

Tiger said...

Wow, never thought hats could be this cool! <3

Chloë said...

these hats are off the freakin charts. too epic

A said...

Beautiful pictures!
x

Wida said...

Wow.

Wida
Missing Amsie Blog

Kate said...

Amazing photos, I wish I could see it for myself. I love the idea of having giant hats in exact detail of the lifesize ones. They are truly magnificent.
www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

irene van Dijk said...

So nice! your so talanted! I got a blogg, to. I would love to hear your meaning! http://www.waaromkanikgeennaamkiezen.blogspot.com/

Jennifer said...

These hats are amazing, I love how Mr. Jones seems to have no creative limits to his imagination and that anything goes.

and this is peak said...

These hats are so awesome, I don't even know how to pick my favorite. Somewhere in between the Barbie legs and the one that looks like chiffon blowing in the wind.

Fashion Forestry said...

I think this is what my heaven will look like :)

Jack W. said...

Love the hats, the concept for this exhibition is SO inspired. Millinary facinates me; thanks SO much! your photography was, as usual really really good. (Whenever I try to take photos at exhibitions they tend to end up dark and blurry, so I realise how some times it can be difficult.)

fucktheseshoes.blogspot.com

Mina Jade said...

Wow Tavi,
You are lucky that you could be there. It was exquisite. The coloured beads were my favourites.

SML said...

wow, what an exhibition! i can only imagine how amazing this would be to see in real life. the leg-mohawk piece is ridiculous.

Beni said...

Great genius! I would like to visiti his exhibition.

Fashion Nerd said...

I love your blog!!
http://joannafashionnerd.blogspot.com/

Julia_Julia said...

http://mrsjuliajulia.blogspot.com/
))

matthew roland said...

Oh oh oh! Ridiculously amazing!

wordbyjessie.com said...

out of control. i absolutely love.
http://www.wordbyjessie.com
xxjj

Charlotte said...

Those hats are so beautiful!
I'd probably wear most of them given the chance :)

Bella Mama said...

So glad you shared these pics and this experience with your readers. How great it most have felt to be invited to such a unique and beauty-filled espectacle.
Once again, glad you shared it with us.
www.dressdiary.com

Vasilieva said...

absolutely stunning pictures

http://elenavasilieva.blogspot.com/
x

Hannah said...

some of those are just incredible!


stilettosandcigarettes

Dahl said...

So. Freaking. Cool. Wow, these hats are utterly fabulous--I love all of the resources he used, it's like he dug through someone's recycling bin and glued together all the items that weren't old garlic jars. Even cooler is that you got to cut the bow! And you were wearing a matching bow! Whoa (rhymes with bow). I'm inspired to get to work on my own hats now, maybe those old trolley tickets will come in handy...

London is passion said...

Amazing!

Yajaira said...

interesting - cool!

Flow Disruption said...

Oh my goodness. I'm speechless.

ShopMonica said...

Wow! These are amazing..what detail! Very interesting and different. I love them.

shopmonica.blogspot.com

My Heart Blogged said...

This a really amazing exhibit. Thanks for sharing it. I really like all the detailing, and extravagance.
My Heart Blogged

La Petite Marmoset said...

I love all these whimsical hats! That one that looks like a torture device is scary!
La Petite Marmoset

D ♥ R said...

Love ♥

They are all such incredible pieces of art...

http://inspiremebitch.blogspot.com/

MJ said...

Saw you featured in Glamour. You rock! I have three baby daughters and hope to encourage their individuality as they grow up, so I was very inspired by your words about girls needing to form their own identities in lieu of what's published and marketed to them. Keep it up, sister.

Orphin Lasz said...

Wow, all of these are absolutely magnificent!
The Mad Hatter, indeed! Jones is definetely an amazing artist!

I trully enjoyed looking at this collection of hats; specially the rococo ones Ó u Ò)/♥♥♥

~ Orphin's Domains ~

Lily Brown said...

Amazing! The textures and colours and bits and pieces! Lovely. Inspirational.
www.snippetsandbits.blogspot.com

Isabelle said...

this is properly amazing.
legitimately.

NorwegianWood said...

Sometimes I wish everyone wore hats every day...today is definitely one of those times...so inspiring!

iheartfeijoas said...

Oh, gosh, I wish I'd known about this earlier; I was thinking of going to Antwerp in January but decided to postpone it to April... if I'd known about this I would have gone, but it closed earlier this week! At least I got to see photos, though; thank you!

Salmah said...

I wish I could steal it all and run away to my imaginary manga land. Ya, that would be good. Lol, amazing photo's Tavi! Rock on!

Allie said...

Thing is...I did read the title in that (african cat) voice.
a-songtopassthetime.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

Craziness I tell you!
Love it!

NARDIVILE said...

That is so cool!
I would have loved to have seen these all close up.
I've gone through thesse pictures atleast 10 times now.
That melted plastic one is awesome!

Rx

Christina said...

This makes me want to wear hats. Everyday. Forever.

Gabriella said...

Lovely pictures, I love the one with the fluffy white dress! :) It's awesome that you were invited to go and cut the opening ribbon. :)

-Principessa Gabriella

zoomslow said...

Um, are you kidding!?!?! This post is like an inspiration overload! Thanks for putting all of it up. That hat where it’s kinda like one rectangle sitting on another looks so edible? If it had a voice (Thank you <33), I’m sure it would be saying, “No, you can not eat me! No, I am not pastry!”

P.S Where’s Kanye when you need him! I could see him struggling to hold back the crowd… “Hurry, Tavi! This is really killing me, but I’ma let you finish!!!”

Christine said...

Wow these pictures are amazing. I love all the different styles and just the creativity is overwhelming!

http://porcelainfreckles.blogspot.com

harrisnaomi said...

mmm...this is soo hard to choose...aah...:D well it did feel..like it was put up for me...all the magnificient creationS...really...and those words by rei kawakubo are soo utterly sweet..what else could one expect..!!!!
bisous!!!!

anne said...

it sounds so great!

Erin said...

Wow these are really amazing! :D

learningcouture.blogspot.com

TheAngelWears said...

These are wonderful :)

xxx

http://theangelwears.blogspot.com/

Masha said...

great hats! love the one with barbies legs))) lol

http://leblogdemasha.blogspot.com/

jessie said...

These look really fun to make!

http://faroutfashionbyjessie.blogspot.com/

Joanna Paulsen said...

Interesting headwear!

http://theythinkimtooyoung.blogspot.com/

Style Novice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Style Novice said...

Inspiring Headgear! Check out my blog :) Taa

Eline said...

Absolutely great!

delightw said...

I LOVE Mr Jones work always have.He was an inspiration for me to start making hats too.So wonderful to see them like this.I'm drooling...

Mika said...

i want one of everything, please. :D

Ella Viscardi said...

All very inspiring head pieces. The one of the doll head and legs is especially odd, but I somehow like it!

Dagmarette Yen said...

Ah I remember seeing his exhibition at the V&A ages ago and it was truly fantastic. Truly a mad hatter indeed, he has a thrilling imagination and its incredible to see his work grow and change over the years. I loved his 'sex on the brain' hat... did you catch that one by chance? :)

www.thefinishing-school.com

utopía. said...

http://utopia105.blogspot.com/

cancercowboy said...

wow, thanks for making and uploading all these pics! some of the headpieces look plain ridiculous and forced, others are frigging awesome and seem to emanate their own 'alternative world' bubble.
btw, the flickr link doesn't work as supposed to, but one can still access your uploads from the default page.

Ben said...

I can see lady gaga in almost every one of those.

http://bensstylecorner.blogspot.com/

Ruby And Siel said...

I did (doing) my end paper over this exhibition :)

Riot Nrrd said...

GAH. So much inspiration. <3

Fashion Equation said...

Iris Van Harpen headpiece of melted plastic = ethereal water splash

Claire said...

Wow. This is the most inspiring thing I've seen in a LONG time!
Really really insane, such amazing and incredible hats that are basically perfection. Did that even make sense? :)
www.notimeforchitchat.blogspot.com

RandomQueen said...

What an interesting exhibit! I love the hats with the gardens and the hat that looks like a scallop. I wish I could have seen it...

vatienne said...

Thank you for sharing. I know what you mean by holding off writing the blog because you want to write it better when you can better explain it and feel like it.
But I think you did a great job of telling the story plus, the pictures also speak for itself.
I love the quote of Rei Kawakubo, especially I am also a fan of hers.
Thanks!

Vatienne

vatienne.blogspot.com

Grainne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike said...

The porkpie hat worn by Mr. Jones is the tops.

Lizz Aubrey said...

GAWD I love hats. What a treasure this post is! I love the way you write, girl. Keep it up. Thank you for the post!

LizzAubrey
http://jellyfashionblog.blogspot.com/

crystal glamour said...

these hats are so your style
great post

http://pinklemonincrystal.blogspot.com
-Michelle

imgoingtovent said...

I am so JEALOUS!! I went to Antwerp specifically to go to MoMu but when I got there it was closed because they were putting this exhibition together, I must of have only been a week too early. :(
Did you get to go to the Paris Mode et Textile while you were in Europe??

jooknun said...

haha your ribbon? you are so funny and I like that~~~

fabulous headgear and I wish to own one next time =)

style meerkat said...

wow, great post! awesome things :D

http://stylemeerkat.blogspot.com/

xoxo

<333

Nan de Bil said...

Fantástico

Rachael said...

these are incredible ... i love the one that looks like water!!

http://jellybeansandstrawberrylaces.blogspot.com/

Engreida said...

It really is sculpture, isn't it? I'd love to clear out our china cabinet and have nothing but these hats!

http://engreidadesigns.blogspot.com/

BMN said...

W O W

Mallorie said...

Not really excellent!

not-normal said...

great inspiration!
you're super cool tavi!

http://creatures-on-earth.blogspot.com

My Style Canvas said...

Those hats are just breathtaking. Especially the one that looks like a lacy fire escape, and that human heart fascinator--Wow. How cool that you participated in the ribbon cutting, too. Great post.

bluegrassginger said...

these hats are absolutely amazing!! anyone of them would be so fun for the kentucky derby... definitely giving me ideas for this years event

www.bluegrassginger.blogspot.com

xx

POPTUCKSHOP said...

My favourites have got to be the Giles Deacon PAC-MAN helmet and the water splash!

reckless daughter said...

these are incredible! sign me up for a top hat please. :)

Fashion is Life-J'adore la Mode said...

The birthday hat is actually sosoososo classic!

peachynewt said...

Love the eccentricity of these hats, but I would so wear some of them - the wind-blown tissue one and the melted/blown plastic. Would be amazing.

FASHION STYLE LIFE said...

Glorious! Glorious. What a great treat to see the beautiful creations by Stephen Jones and what an awesome opportunity for you to see them up-close. Thank you Tavi for the photos.

Micci said...

Mind blown.

THE RUNWAY JUNKIE said...

LOVE JONE`S !!! ENOUGH SAID !!!

Charlie said...

semsational! i hope the exhibition comes to london soon...

Katheyn Volikos said...

inspiring, as always

runwayrocknroll.blogspot.com
runwayrocknroll.blogspot.com

Sallybee said...

love EVERYTHING! Wish I could go to one of those events! haha

~Sallybee

www.sallybfashion.blogspot.com

Christina Muth said...

I wish I could see all of this in person.

Square said...

You'd be so much more likable if you weren't so pretentious.

Purity said...

I believe I just fell in love with the pastel pink dress, how lovely.

Tabby, I LOVE your bow :)

www.purityperfection.blogspot.com

boxmalak said...

the hats absolutely blew my mind.
thank you for the photos. :]

Nora said...

I love his work! He's fantastic! I feel like my grandmother had a hat of his; she had this one that was very intricately made of a country landscape complete with little houses and hills and trees. I'll have to find out....
Tavi, I'd be extremely honored if you looked at my friend and my new blog and left some comments. We just started last week, and if you left some critiques on how to better improve our blog, that'd be s'wonderful. Find us at: http://conventfashion.blogspot.com/

Keep fabulously blogging as you always do!

<3 Nora

Nora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lindsey lowe said...

all of this is so creative!! love it. thanks for sharing!

Lily Brown said...

So Intruiging! Almost like a trance, those artistic headwear is amazingly decorative.

Alex Thompson said...

I saw this exhibition- too fabulous for words...
www.theedit.com.au

Ana Agulló said...

I've heard so much about you and today started looking at your blog and try to understand it (i'm from barcelona (Spain) and my english isn't too good, haha! I think you are very intelligent and you have a vision of fashion very interesting and different.

I admire what you do and I think you're going to have a good future!

Congratulations for all, and congratulations for be you, and be real.

Ana- TumeplaisCoco - xx

SANDRA AZWAN said...

AMAZING!

http://bysandraazwan.blogspot.com

IMMIT said...

hey tavi
loving your blog loving this post as i die for hats.amaze!
Tagged you in my blog as u were the inspiration today.
If you like you can see what i said bout you @ www.immit.blogspot.com

SK said...

love the big white victorian style dress!

Check out my fashion blog...
http://throwitalltogether-tatty.blogspot.com/

Tanya Tsaruk said...

это бесподобно!!

yuyu holickova said...

I definitely need a hat
yy.

http://porcelainplush.blogspot.com/

Ella said...

Amazing creativity and inspiration! And for the every day woman who needs some every day looks visit: http://www.fashion-ade.com/

Keep up the great work!

eat me said...

Can I just sleep inside the huge top hat?

wideeyesblog said...

Hi, Tavi!
I was wondering what you thought of the Rodarte show. I was blown away when it came out, and I actually adapted Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." poem to fit the collection. It's posted on my blog, so please check it out when you have a second :)
Thanks,
Ted

http://wideeyesblog.blogspot.com/

5cc76cf6-3e30-11e0-a144-000f20980440 said...

i now have an UBER cool outfit for school tomorrow thanks to your post and Mr. Jone's hats!!!!

Emma said...

Well i was looking some type of fashion sites like DC Shoes , cloths and some different out fit so my search came to me your blog its really Amazing. all the pics are really beautiful..........

Lily Brown said...

BAHAGGHH. Oh sorry, something in my throat. Great work, amazing photos! What camera do you use? its really wonderful.

Ursula Manning said...

Love the white dress!it's fantastic!!!

http://ursula-manning.blogspot.com/

Anthony H. Jalta said...

http://fashiongoesoutoffashion.blogspot.com/

Emilia said...

love all of the hats, you are beyond lucky tavi!
emiliabrown.blogspot.com

Eda said...

This is just amazing!!
Really awesome posting. Really, Tavi!

E<3

emily. said...

tavi, you're so cute!

http://greystripes.tumblr.com/

lys805 said...

Interesting photos. I am in love with the white dress. It has a whimsical essence about it.

Román Iglesias said...

I love the sole one...
too much variety haha


www.coolneeded.com

Emma Gi. said...

love the eskimo inspired hat pretty awesome!

G.A.N said...

i love you blog!
the photos is incrible!

my blog is:
http://vidamodamundo.blogspot.com/

Summer said...

These are absolutely fantastic; words literally cannot express my awe sufficently. They're so sculptural and intricate and it's amazing. I really love the water-coloured-wind-blown feel of those pink and blue hats.

Lily Brown said...

Ah-Hamazing!!How detailed and Fantasy-like, the textile colours and randoms used to create a masterpiece.

Lily Brown said...

snippetsandbits.blogspot.com

Zazu & Violets' hats & food said...

Love, Love, we check out the Covent Garden store in London every time we visit.

I have been writing a blog about hat anecdotes and food, always looking for inspiration and this is it!

www.zazuandvioletshatsandfood.blogspot.com

Amy + Ava said...

wow! amazing! i love your blog :)
www.weneedtohaveatalk.blogspot.com
xoxo

Allison Stuart said...

I love the steampunk thing he has going on with so many of his hats!

EHEH said...

OHHHH.... SO BORING!!!!!!!

http://the-satirialist.com/2010/03/02/blogging-is-so-last-week/

we hate you!

Miss Molato said...

like lady gaga ,i love !!
http://missmolato.blogspot.com/

Mertxe Hernàndez said...

amazing hats!! love the concept and ideas of them!!!!

Handmade Hannah said...

Love everyone of these creations! Thanks for sharing :)