Meet the aesthete Stephen Jones, Hat designer.
“Perfume inspires me every day, I did an entire hat collection based on perfumes called “Parfums” . Discover our interview with Stephen Jones, hat designer.
What is your strongest olfactory memory?
I have so many. What I really remember from when I was very young was the smell of the sea, and especially the hot rocks on the side of the sea with gorse bushes growing in between, that smell of the heat of the summer. And the greenness of the spiky gorse was just incredible at age five. I think as I got older, what I love is the smell of blooming roses in my garden, which got the most heavenly scent and reminds me of home.
Do you wear a D’Orsay fragrance?
For many years I have known the extraordinary advertising of D’Orsay fragrances from the 1940’s especially Divine, which is the most beautiful illustration of cherubs and the blue surrealist sky. But at the moment I wear “J’approchais un mystère. A.C.” because It is most like me.
What does this fragrance mean to you?
Because it reminds me of the title of my autumn and winter 2021 collection, it’s a French kiss. Every season I produce a collection book, and this is for this winter French kiss, and they’re many different hats but extraordinarily enough, you can see here there is this one image and this Monsieur D’Orsay, D’Orsay perfumes because also very famously he wore a particular to style of top hats and he had very rolled brims on his top hat and this was called a D’Orsay roll and It is still called a D’Orsay roll, many years after he passed away.
What is the craziest declaration that has been made to you?
I have got two actually, first is when Jean Paul Gaultier in 1985 pushed me out on to the runway and introduced me to the world of French fashion and he was my host. The second craziest declaration was maybe the simplest and the one that everybody knows, it is when somebody say “I love you” which is the most extraordinary thing that can happen to anybody, ever.
What is the most unusual place you have ever been asked on a date?f
The most unusual kind of date, I don’t know if it was the most unusual, but I remember swimming out to an island and in mid-summer making love under the moon and stars.
Is perfume a source of inspiration in your creative process at work or in your life?
Perfume inspires me every day, I did an entire hat collection based on perfumes called “Parfums” which spring/summer 2019 and I evoked and enhanced the experiences I’d had with perfume throughout my life.
What scent would you like to make into a fragrance?
I would love to make a summer hat into a fragrance, with straw, flowers and freshness and shades. And I would love to make a winter hat into a fragrance which would be fur, wool and cashmere and open fires and snow.
Perfume and seduction, still relevant to you?
Perfume & seduction is a really interesting topic because you could say that your own pheromones and hormones are actually more seductive than a fragrance, but it is actually how that fragrance sits with your own scent and also is that relevant nowadays, should we be just smelling clean or do we want to smell like ourselves, do we want to evoke the animal that we are.
Tell us about a moment in your life when you wished for time to stop and that it would last forever?
Do I want time to stop? Is it money or adulation or whatever, or is it just meeting somebody? When I met Daniel, who was an ex-partner of mine, I wish that it would go on forever and time would stop. He passed away about 12 years ago, but I still have a bottle of this fragrance that he wore on my desk and I smell it probably every week to remind me of him.
What are you plans for this year?
My plans are very simple for the rest of the year, trying to make the most beautiful hats I can.