Interview - Stephen Jones

by Penny Martin .

Penny Martin: When did you first move into your studio?

Stephen Jones: First moved into this studio in 1994.

Penny Martin: What made you choose it?

Stephen Jones: That it was like the TARDIS: from the outside it looked like a tiny sweet shop but inside it opened up into a large space. And it had good vibes.

Penny Martin: What are the different roles of the people working in your studio?

Stephen Jones: In the studio, many different people. I have Lesley my main design assistant, Anna who does all the buying, Cat for press, Angel bookkeeping and the heads of my three workrooms; Deborah, Gina and Craig.

Penny Martin: Please describe what happens there on a typical day.

Stephen Jones: In a typical day, there isn't a typical day! But although I am a morning person, I work at home in the early hours and only arrive at the studio around 10:30. I will have always have left piles of sketches swatches and notes on peoples desks the night before, so the first thing to do is to decipher and discuss these. Then we will have design and press meetings to go through future projects, appointments and interviews. After lunch is kept for fittings; either internal fittings working on toiles for a new collection, or with private clients, creating and checking couture hats. At the end of the day the studio gets frantic with Anna and Cat sending hats to shops, press and clients around the globe. And throughout it all, there are phone calls for me from say, Christian Dior in Paris. So I have to work hard to keep my head straight throughout the day! I am normally the last to leave, always remembering a hundred unfinished tasks which will have to wait for tomorrow.

Penny Martin: How did the appearance/décor of your studio come about? Did it evolve spontaneously or was it designed?

Stephen Jones: The décor was designed from the outset. The front of the studio was already decorated with beautiful baroque plasterwork. And I went from there. The whole place is the same colour: crystal lilac, which is the most amazing colour of ultra-soft, lilac-tinged grey.

Penny Martin: Is there something about your studio that inspires your work or is it purely a practical space?

Stephen Jones: Yes it inspires me; it is elegant yet frivolous, historic but moderne!