The Legendary Milliner Stephen Jones Settles Some Beef With Interview
MEL OTTENBERG: Stephen, this look here was the opening look in the first couture show I ever attended, and I just realized that it’s haute couture Autumn/Winter 2005. This is Stella [Tennant]’s look, right?
STEPHEN JONES: Erin [O’Connor]’s.
OTTENBERG: Erin’s look. So, wait. Stella was the mom, or Erin was the mom?
JONES: There were three moms in the show. It was Erin, Stella, and some girl who I can’t remember. The funny story about this look is that they had a horse backstage. It had been there for like three hours, so of course it did a giant poo in the middle of backstage. The entire area smelled like horse shit.
JONES: Yeah. A perfect fashion moment. John thought it was hilarious.
OTTENBERG: Can we just talk about King Tut over here for a second?
JONES: Yeah, sure.
OTTENBERG: Was this your crowning achievement of all of your fiercest hat moments on a runway?
JONES: It was.
OTTENBERG And it’s Spring/Summer 2004.
JONES: Yeah. It was amazing. I’ve never been so freaked out and so upset. I actually cried in front of John and I said, “I just don’t think I can do it,” and he said, “Why not?” I said, “It’s just too much for me.” And he said, “But you will.”
OTTENBERG: And you did!
JONES: And his steely reserve propelled me to do it. But when I see it, I still feel that anxiety.
OTTENBERG: You feel the horror of the nightmare.
JONES: Yeah, and the amazing thing about it was that I saw all these incredible girls like Erin and Alek Wek coming out wearing these clothes, and looking absolutely exquisite.
OTTENBERG: So was it John [Galliano] or Steven [Robinson] that explained to them how to walk while leaning back like that?
JONES: John did. They both studied Tutankhamun’s body cast and his body shape, so the corsets were made on Erin to look like Tutankhamun.
JONES: And that’s what everybody had to be in. That’s how they wore it.
OTTENBERG: Super, super, super. So I feel like you have some beef with Interview that I didn’t know about, and I’d like for you to tell me about it so that we can squash this once and for all.
JONES: Some beef with Interview? I’ve got a whole cow.
OTTENBERG: Spill it. Cut it open.
JONES: So, I was going to be an InterMan and my friend Kim was going to be a ViewGirl. It was confirmed, I told everybody, and then I was cut at the last minute. It was bullshit. I don’t know if Andy [Warhol] didn’t like the look of me, or if it was some art director.
JONES: You know what I mean? I haven’t lived properly since then.
OTTENBERG: So you’re saying it’s not too late. As Editor-In-Chief, I’ll start InterMan again and cast you as the bright new face.
JONES: Or, at the back of your next issue, you can put “Erratum 1984. Sorry, we made a mistake.” And add a little picture of me.
OTTENBERG: Fuck. Okay. You got a hot picture from 1984?
OTTENBERG: Done deal.
JONES: Do you want clothed or unclothed?
OTTENBERG: Whatever you want it to be. It will live on forever.
JONES: Fantastic. Now I can sleep tonight.