Victoria and Albert and Stephen Jones

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.

Stephen Jones with some of his magnificent millinery creations.

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.

‘Kiss of Death’ by Jo Gordon, 1994

English model Erin O’Connor wearing Stephen Jone’s iconic Union Jack miniature top hat entitled Anna P.

SJP at the Sex and the City Movie premiere wearing her Philip Treacy creation. 

Philip Treacy, originally worn by the late Isabella Blow.

The divine and super colourful pom-pom hat by Soren Bach. 

‘Wash n’ Go’ by Stephen Jones. 

Stephen Jones for Dior.

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.  

Annabel in her Barbie one-of-a-kind, hand-made by Ella of the Queensland Art Gallery, c’est magnifique! 

 Ella presenting Chloè with her Pony fascinator. 

 Annabel making accessories for the hats she made herself.


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?


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