'Every hat is a nightmare and a complete joy too,' Stephen Jones told us when we caught up with him at the launch of this season's Headonism exhibition. So speaks a man who has been creating some of the most sought after headgear in the world for over 30 years.The Headonism initiative, launched by the British Fashion Council, curated by Jones and sponsored by Royal Ascot, supports five fledgling milliners and helps them on their way to fashion success.
This season's pick are Piers Atkinson (the man behind the cherry headband so famously sported by Anna Dello Russo), William Chambers, Moody and Farrell, Emma Yeovil and Aurora.Jones is on hand to share his hard earned wisdom. 'Oh believe me I don't hand it all down just choice snippets,' he laughs. 'When I started off, I mean not to say that there was no one to help me but slightly, that's why I started working with fashion designers because they all really helped me and supported me, but in my day there was nothing like this so it's great that we can do this and great that Ascot is on board to sponsor as well.' And he's thrilled by the gender balance of this season's line-up, and you might find the reason surprising. 'Before it was all boys and now it's two boys and three girls. I'm really glad about that because girl's millinery is really different to boy's millinery. It's the same with clothing as well, Chanel made different clothes to Dior. There's something like a reality to women's hats and also a prettiness that men don't get but women do.'