The Dior Common Thread podcast series represents a fascinating new avenue for exploring the collaborations initiated by Kim Jones since his arrival at Dior. Each episode will present a compelling encounter with one of the inspiring figures who have participated in his endlessly original reinventions.
In conversation with Ed Tang, each recounts their unique experience and shares their singular vision, providing an immersive new window into the world of Dior Men.
The latest guest on the series is Stephen Jones who has served as Artistic Director of Hats at Dior for more than 25 years, a role that includes creating all the headgear for the Dior men’s collections.
Christian Dior himself wrote in his Little Dictionary of Fashion, “A hat is essential to any outfit. It completes it. In a way, a hat is the best way to express your personality,” and here Jones, who crafted his first hat out of a cereal box and glue, fabric from an old blouse belonging to his sister, and a plastic rose, discusses the role of hats in creating an illusion and taking a silhouette to another level.
The prolific and highly inventive British milliner grew up in Liverpool and moved to London in the year of punk, 1976, where he enrolled at Central Saint Martins to study fashion. During an internship at the Lachasse couture house in London’s Mayfair district he pursued his passion for hats, training under Shirley Hex, head of the millinery atelier.
Jones made his foray into fashion through Zandra Rhodes, going on to work for other legendary designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana, and in this intimate exchange he discusses the privilege over a 40-year career of being able to delve into the heads of the greatest fashion designers of our time. The veteran milliner, who celebrated his 25th anniversary at Dior in 2021, taking a runway bow with Kim Jones at the finale of the Dior men’s Winter 2022-2023 show, gets a thrill from finding out what makes designers tick.
“I’m often there right at the beginning of the creative process, so I see it all the way through. And I see it through the ups and the downs, how at the beginning of the design meetings they say ‘pink,’ and then at the end it’s black. Or it’s 14th century and then it becomes Space Age. That whole trajectory of how a design develops is completely fascinating to me,” says Jones. “Sometimes, I don’t understand what the hell’s going on. But if I believe in a designer, I’ll let them take my hand and lead me into a garden of creativity that I don’t know about yet.”
Tune into the episode to hear all about the fascinating life story of one of the most revered milliners of our time.