The classical arts are having a tough time—labor disputes, slashed budgets, and a struggle to fill seats. But the New York City Ballet seems to have found the answer: Valentino. Read my latest piece, How Fashion Saved The Ballet, at The Daily Beast! (And enjoy this lovely costume by British designer Mary Katrantzou, which she designed for the ballet’s annual fall fashion gala.)
Photo by Erin Baino for Style.com
Object of the Month: Woman’s “Tube” Hat by Stephen Jones
By Laura L. Camerlengo
Have you ever dreamed of making heads turn when you entered a room? A cutting edge hat, like this example by British milliner Stephen Jones, could make your dream a reality. As Jones has said, “[Hats] are so visible. They really announce the person who’s wearing them.”
Jones’s eye-catching, sculpture-like styles have been favorites of rock stars (Mick Jagger, Rihanna), royalty (Diana, Princess of Wales) and fashion folks (Anna Piaggi, Isabella Blow) since the late 1970s. While his sources of inspiration have varied over his thirty-plus year career, the city of London has been a constant muse. Jones’s most famous London-inspired designs include his celebrated Harris Tweed Crown –a riff on the Queen of England’s regal headpiece –for Vivienne Westwood’s Autumn/Winter 1987 collection, as well as the hat seen here. As Jones has explained, “As a milliner you take your life and put it into a hat, so all those things, living in London, as I do, those things are so resonant and so strong, and such an identifying part of London, too.”
A recent addition to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Costume and Textiles collection, this hat was made for the designer’s Autumn/Winter 2008 Covent Garden Collection. Its red, white and blue felt top are inspired by street signs for the London subway system, a.k.a. the Tube, while its multi-colored strap evokes schematic renderings of the Tube’s lines from transit maps. (In fact, a large Tube station is just blocks away from Jones’s shop in the trendy Covent Garden shopping district.)
With the Tube symbol in mind, the hat could not only announce your arrival, but signal your means for departure, too.
Designed by Stephen Jones, English, born 1957
Woman’s Tube Hat, Autumn/Winter 2008
Multicolored wool felt
Hat Length x Width x Height: 9 x 8 1/2 x 3 inches (22.9 x 21.6 x 7.6 cm)
Gift of David A. Schwartz / Sophy Curson Inc., 2009-45-12
Grace Jones in a costume designed by Keith Haring, 1987.
Photo: Ron Gallela, via Vogue
Bus Stop (1943), Elsie Palmer Payne
I want to see Alan Cumming in this outfit.
ab. 1735 Enoch Seeman - Portrait of John Campbell Lord Glenorchy later 3rd Earl of Breadalbane
In this painting of the Parisian dance hall Moulin Rouge, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec depicts a gangly male dancer in a top hat. This dancer, known as Valentine the Boneless, was so sinewy and agile that his legs appeared to be made of rubber when he danced.
”At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance,” 1890, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec