The Queensland Art Gallery is the exclusive Australian venue for a spectacular exhibition exploring the art of millinery. The exhibition presents more than 250 hats and headpieces from the Victoria & Albert’s extensive collection as well as milliner Stephen Jones’s own archive.
The exhibition includes items and iconic hats, such as a twelfth-century Egyptian fez, a wide-brimmed black silk tulle hat from Christian Dior’s first collection in 1948, Mary Quant’s c. 1968 navy blue beret, and Stephen Jones’s ‘Wash n’ Go’ hat, moulded from clear plastic to resemble a splash of water, from the 1993 Spring/Summer collection. Photography was not permitted, so I have had to source photographs of my favourites elsewhere for you.
It also features hats worn by historical and cultural icons – Elsa Schiaparelli’s black felt beret worn by Marlene Dietrich in Witness for the Prosecution in 1957 as Philip Treacy’s gorgeous green feather creation worn by Sarah Jessica Parker at the London premiere of Sex and the City the Movie and another worn by Isabella Blow.
Here are a few of my favourites for you.
At the end of the exhibition, there was a Children’s Art Centre. Both children and adults are invited to discover the art of designing hats in an interactive section of the exhibition. Gallery visitors get to create their own toppers, berets or bonnets using templates inspired by the hats on display, including the fantastical creations of milliner extraordinaire, Stephen Jones.
My girls Chloè and Annabel monopolised one of the lovely staff there for over an hour. She was so patient, setting about creating a Barbie doll hat for Annabel and a pony hat for Chloè. Don’t they look adorably chic?