Q & A with Stephen Jones: Iconic Milliner

Stephen Jones OBE is one of the most iconic and influential milliners of all time. Based in London designing hats for A listers, Stephen’s achievements are endless, including curating the world famous ‘Hats’ exhibition at the V&A in 2009. Bridebook was fortunate enough to speak to Stephen Jones about two things we love: hats and weddings (of course!)

bridebook.co.uk stephen jones with an armful of his hats
The legendary milliner Stephen Jones and some of his creations


Do you think hats are a must-do for all wedding guests?

No it shouldn’t be compulsory to wear a hat, people have freedom of expression, but maybe those who are not really hat wearers should have a go because they’ll realise they’ll have so much fun wearing one, especially on such a special occasion.

Are there any rules when choosing a hat as a wedding guest? (Etiquette, style, occasion type etc.)

Ideally it should not be white as white is the colour of the bride. It should not be too big because if you’re in a Church or a Synagogue you don’t want to obscure the view of the person behind. On the other hand, however, if you’re known as an eccentric dresser you don’t want to let down your audience.

Do you have any tips for choosing the best hat shape for you?

A hat needs to suit your face more than it has to suit your fashion. So if you have a long face don’t wear a tall crowned hat. If you wear glasses, wear a hat with a turned up brim at the front so as not to crowd your face. If you have a broad face, wear a broader brimmed hat or a hat with statement pieces such as flowers. If you have a square face, wear something asymmetric to soften it. You can do all that, but I also think matching is a nice touch. It’s a big enough statement that you’re wearing a hat so you don’t need it to contrast your colours, or have it in any unusual colour. Also keep in mind that whatever colour your hat is gets cast across your face, so beware lime green hats! Sunshine cast through a blue hat tends to add a nice, gentle hue to your skin.

Where did you get married and what was your favourite part of your wedding?

The Chelsea Town Hall in London, a truly lovely venue. My favourite part was seeing a whole line of my guests walking two by two down the road at 9am on Monday morning, on the first day of London Fashion Week, dressed to the nines going to our wedding breakfast.

Happy Planning!

Browse other similar articles: