This is the London milliner’s first project with a denim label, and he has created five couture designs and two commercials for the Amsterdam-based brand. G raw starwhich is Cradle-to-Cradle certified and adheres to strict sourcing and manufacturing standards.
Jones said his goal was to bring denim into the world of tailoring and the project forced him to think differently and learn how to handle denim.
“I wanted to take denim,” Jones said in an interview from her studio. “I know the denim tradition, what it is and what it means — and I wanted to do the exact opposite. I am contrary like that. I took denim out of its comfort zone and made it something it wasn’t.
Jones said he was used to working with stiff, lightweight fabrics like straw and felt. In contrast, G-Star’s unwashed denim is heavy. He said the weight causes the fabric to sag “down” rather than lift like a lighter fabric would.
He previously worked with denim, but only on a small scale when designing hats for John Galliano at Dior. There, denim played a supporting role – and it was never the star of the show.
With the G-Star project, Jones has learned to work with the weight of fabric and her couture pieces in particular look like something out of a fairy tale.
A sultry cloche hat transforms into a dramatic cape with a train that measures two and a half meters.
It has belt loops and giant pockets emblazoned with the letters S and J. Jones said he’s considering some of his celebrity clients, including RihannaLady Gaga and Mick Jagger, wearing it on stage or wrapping it around them for a head-to-toe look.
Another couture creation seems to spring from the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. It is a tree-like tower made of bucket hats that gradually get smaller as they reach the top. They also jiggle when they move.
The sun hat has a giant brim that wraps around the body and turns into a little skirt. Jones also took a pair of jeans and whipped them into a large turban, which he calls a headband.
Both commercial styles also have a storybook touch. The bob has two edges that can be bent in different ways. Jones said that depending on the fold and angle, it can take the wearer “from rapper cool to 1920s flapper.”
The other commercial style is a baseball cap with small wings instead of earflaps. “You can definitely go faster in this one,” said Jones, who tried every one of them during the interview.
The couture counterpart to the baseball cap has longer, even more dramatic wings that shoot back like lightning bolts.
Jones doesn’t want anyone to read the inspiration behind the designs too closely. “Sometimes it’s just about having fun and I hope these hats lift your spirits,” the designer said.
He may have worked with a different material, but Jones took a similar approach to the design process.
He always thinks of a hat in the context of the overall outfit and begins each new design with a line drawing of a client’s back. He also believes that a hat should be the continuation of an outfit, not the main attraction.
The collection was born after G-Star Raw approached him for a collaboration and he was up for the challenge.
“They just phoned me – normally it would have been a phone call from a big house in Paris or a celebrity wanting a hat for their next tour. Denim is millions of miles from couture, at the ‘opposite of what I do,’ he said.
Amsterdam-based G-Star Raw specializes in high-end, durable denim designs. In the past, it has collaborated with Land Rover and American bicycle manufacturer Cannondale.
Pharrell Williams was a frequent collaborator and worked with G-Star for years on initiatives such as turning recycled ocean plastic into denim.
Indeed, Jones said one of the main reasons he decided to say “yes” to the partnership was G-Star. sustainability commitments.
The G-Star denim he used is Cradle-to-Cradle certified, a quality standard that applies to closed-loop manufacturing.
G-Star said its denim meets strict requirements for water stewardship, social justice, material reuse and sustainable energy. His philosophy is that there is “no limit” to what fabric can do.
Products are also made in Italy, rather than East Asia, to reduce transportation miles.
As part of this collaboration, a short documentary was shot in Jones’ studio in Londonof Covent Garden. It aims to give the public an insight into the life and career of the designer.
The couture pieces will launch on Tuesday, while the two limited-edition ready-to-wear designs will be available from December 1 on g-star.com. The winged baseball cap is $220 while the double bucket hat is $240.