His style will influence the Melbourne Cup spring racing carnival

This festive approach stops short of heels that must be worn after the second race and dresses with hems high enough to induce altitude sickness, with Jones keen to see examples of the royal approach to daywear.

“Running attire is formal attire, and fashion often doesn’t meet that need,” Jones says. “When fashion designers show collections, they normally don’t show formal wear and certainly no formal daywear.”

“It’s about dressing for the time of day and the event. So many Americans tell me, ‘you crazy Brits, with your hats at weddings and sewing.’ When it’s pouring rain and it’s 11 a.m., you want to avoid wearing a skimpy dress with heels. You need your woolen underwear, a suit and a coat.

If Jones’ comments sound as conservative as Princess Anne’s hairstyle, take note. This arbiter of taste has traversed the British punk and New Romantics music scene, centered on The Blitz nightclub and juggles royal commissions with jobs for Rihanna, Lady Gaga and actress Anya Taylor-Joy. There’s also Jones’ position for more than two decades as Christian Dior’s senior milliner, and he brought rare smiles to the front row at Jeremy Scott’s show for Moschino at Milan Fashion Week.

Stephen Jones hats for the Moschino Spring/Summer 2023 show at Milan Fashion Week.Credit:Getty

“Oh, that was fun, which we really needed,” Jones says. “The last hat was completed about 10 minutes before the model passed. It was great that it was so lively.

Hats on the show changed from wide-brimmed boater styles to striped buoys and inflatable turbans.

“Part of fashion is taking the world and putting it in a dress. Part of it is just having fun and that means nothing,” Jones says. “And that can mean everything.”

Jones found meaning in Victoria Racing Club’s new inclusive approach to attendees at Fashions on the Field, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

“It could be fascinating and I want to be surprised. But that won’t change the judgment. It will make a difference to those seven-year-olds, boys and girls, who watch and are excited by what they see and don’t feel guilty.

When it comes to judging, Jones will focus on the whole look.

“You don’t just see the hat itself. You see the person moving in front of you. You can see how comfortable this person is with the hat and how it moves.

“The hat is always part of the story. It’s the whole story that counts. »

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