Stiff Upper Lip London and Hats

51867-large.jpg It’s probably an excellent occasion for an exhibit on hats in London. The metropolis has been stocked with snow unlike it’s ever seen before. Morale is lower than the bottom of the Thames river with the pound dropping, jobs disappearing and tourists are ignoring Big Ben. These are not good times in London.
However, this is England we’re talking about. Stiff-upper lip nation. A country known for its Victory Gardens in World War II. These vegetable gardens are actually experiencing a revival with people pinching pounds, but that’s another story.

So here’s an exhibit after England’s heart and hats. Milliner Stephen Jones, practically a European celebrity but virtually unknown in the U.S., is collaborating with the V&A museum for an exhibit titled, “An Anthology by Stephen Jones.” The show, years in the making, opens Feb. 24 and closes May 31, giving Americans plenty of time to save up their pennies to take advantage of rock-bottom flights and affordable hotels.


Surprisingly, this is the first time V&A museum has ever devoted an entire show to chapeaux. The hats on display reads like a veritable list of Who’s Who in Fashionable London (Past and Present). Naturally, Jones will show off his work, but you will also get to view creations by Philip Treacy, Mitza Bricard for Christian Dior, Vladzio d’Attainville for Balenciaga, Claude St Cyr for Norman Hartnell and Chanel. Show organizers really scoured the planet for unique items. They found the straw hat worn by Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Dolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’ in the bottom of a box in the Warner Brothers’ Hollywood archive.

If you absolutely can’t splurge on a trip to London, at least buy the anthology. It’s a bargain at about $26 at the museum’s online bookstore.