Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Me & Mrs Jones

Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Mrs Jones, Fi Doran by Jill Furnanovsky

The other day myself and the new fashion junior at large George Langford nipped along to see Fee Doran, aka Mrs Jones, the pop stylist and designer at the Clerkenwell studio she has just opened as a shop.  I've known Fee's work for years. She is totally inventive, clever, fun, and super-talented. She first came to my attention a decade ago with the label Doran Deacon which she co-owned with Giles Deacon. Yes, the same GILES who has just got the job as creative director at Ungaro.

Fee properly came to fame as an individual fashion force at Christmas 2001 when the white jumpsuit she designed for Kylie Minogue's worldwide Number 1 hit Can't Get You Out of My Head  became the unlikely star of the video. These days Florence Welch is wearing her gear onstage.

Flo's dress as seen in Mrs Jones Lookbook AW10

What I was not prepared for as I climbed - and climbed - my way to the top of a building more or less opposite my favourite London restaurant St. John, was the cacophony of costume madness that met me on the top floors. This apartment contains a design studio, and roomfuls of clothes that Mrs Jones refers to as "a decade of pop history." However, first of all I met this black fluffy dog with a dyed red streak down its back.


Turns out that little black Betty the poodle puppy was so black she blended with the variety of inky black rugs in the studio, and to save a visitor from becoming a dog killer, Mrs Jones gave her the red streak. V logical.

"All the clothes here represent my history and a pop history of the last decade," Mrs Jones told me at the event. "The way I innovate comes either from me having no money, or the artists I'm working with having no money." One of her favourite designs is the flared trousers made for Justin Hawkins of The Darkness from the pants thrown up on stage by fans. She refers to the raggle-baggle brilliance of what occupies her studio/shop as "Pop Stars Droppings." These include leftovers from Goldfrapp, The Killers, Rihanna and Madonna.

                                              These trousers could be yours for £2,500.

  Mrs Jones aka Fee Doran with a dress she created from a vintage find for Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters

"Take this dress, (above) I saw it in Portobello Road. It was a rejected piece. It was down to a few quid and I thought it would look great on Ana Matronic [Scissor Sisters]. My thinking is why not give something like this a second life? So I turned the dress upside down, added the string vest element, and voila! It was worn on stage by Ana." 

Is she still working with Scissor Sisters? "Well...this is the thing," she says. "I met the Scissor Sisters when they had no money and worked with them through their Comfortably Numb period [mid-noughties]. Then they met Elton John and got confused," she deadpans. Me and the new fashion junior George Langford (a girl) ripple with laughter.  Then a man comes over preening in a full-on leather jacket, (below) and we all burst out laughing. "God!!!" says Mrs Jones. "I did that for Bros back in the eighties!!" He bought it, too.

Luckily for us, Mrs Jones work is still coming out as unaffectedly individualistic as ever. "I'm not into fashion, I'm into music. I don't read magazines." Indeed, her new shop is amazing, just like a pop version of the classic kids show Mr Ben - you really can be who you want to be in here. Her new collection is fun (lookbook coming) and she is collaborating with young creatives including Parrillo London  and  special projects from Tatty Devine as well as Daddy's Favourite. 

As we are leaving I meet the latest musical artist to get the Mrs Jones treatment. Meet Kirsty Almeida, who released her single Spider yesterday, and releases her album Pure Blue Green on Decca in September. Mrs Jones created all the looks for the video shown on her home page link, and it is magical. Here is Kirsty posing with one of the dresses from her video. Paloma Faith and Florence watch out!
     The totally talented Kirsty Almeida with one of the sheet-music dresses Mrs Jones created for her new single Spider. 
Photos: As stated and Fashion Editor at Large