The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Stephen Jones - From Georgiana to Boy George

After an unexpected invite on Thursday to the opening of the new Stephen Jones exhibition up North on Friday, milliner and millinery tutor Sue Carter and myself drove the 100+ miles from Yorkshire to Barnard Castle, County Durham with a sense of excitement and anticipation. From the first site of the venue The Bowes Museum we knew we would not be disappointed- the British do create some amazing ancestral piles.
The Bowes Museum
We had never been before and had no idea what to expect, after a meander around the museum with just the backroom staff setting up for the opening and musician enjoying the acoustics of the galleries, throngs of well dressed North East locals arrived swelling the crowd to over 200. Mr Jones looking dapper as ever with a lovely trilby and his collaborator and friend Iain R Webb arrived and mingled, raffle tickets being sold by the wonderful Bowes team for some great prizes.
Raffle prizes
So the scene was set, the Museum Director said his thank yous and introduced Stephen Jones to talk about the exhibition, a collaboration between local boy and renowned designer Giles Deacon on his swan collection, inspired by The Bowes Museum' silver swan and a curatorial collaboration with Iain R Webb using pieces from The Bowes collection alongside his hats. I have heard Stephen speak before at the V&A exhibition and he is a really lucid and engaging speaker with humour and stories - such as early in his career driving round London in a Bedford van with Boy George warbling in the back, long before he was famous, and on suggesting he should be a singer, Boy George pronounced that he didn't have the confidence! Then after hearty applause we were led down to the textile and costume gallery.
The curation was beautiful and inspiring

Mr Jones signing his book
The exhibition is small but more than perfectly formed and well worth a visit, it runs until September 2nd. Whilst browsing and being inspired, my former student Jill Simpson, another local resident, informed me that Stephen Jones had asked to speak to me as he had heard of the closure of my Leeds course and wanted to know what he could to to stop this. A definite surreal moment. So ushered to meet him and he was so lovely and charming and really outraged that the course could be closing down. It was so refreshing and uplifting. He has offered to write a letter  and said he would get Philip to write one also.....I couldn't have dreamed it! a really lovely evening.

The stunning if slightly spooky antique mannequins are on loan from Bath's Museum of Costume they made it all even more perfect. Stephen and Iain are back at Barnard Castle in August for an 'In Conversation' about the exhibition.

1 comment:

  1. i like this picture it was looking so beautiful to as...Bedford Vans