The fashion designer Lars Nilsson has worn many hats over the last three decades – as head of the couture studios of Christian Lacroix and Dior and as creative director of Nina Ricci, amongst others – but the hat that he has never taken off since leaving his native Sweden in 1985 to study fashion in Paris is that of collector. Hats Off! is an exhibition at the Hallwyl museum in Stockholm of 50 hats from Nilsson’s extensive collection of accessories, clothing and textiles. Amassed while working at those storied couture houses, they include pieces by Lacroix, Schiaparelli, Alaia and Yves Saint Laurent. Of particular note is a feathered hat by Philip Treacy for Chanel Couture in 1992 that is shown alongside an Irving Penn photograph for Vogue that features the same creation.

Recently appointed artistic director of Comptoir des Cottoniers and Princesse Tam Tam, Nilsson is yet again adding another string to his bow (he has also held the position of creative director at Bill Blass and has designed collections for Ralph Lauren). But his passion for collecting unique pieces of fashion continues and a book will follow the Stockholm exhibition that will feature yet more of Nilsson’s treasure trove of headwear – all beautifully photographed by Carl Bengtsson, a preview of which we feature here.

Until June 8
Hallwyl Museum, Stockholm

What is your definition of luxury?
A total lack of stress and obligation.

If luxury were a moment, when would it be?
In the early morning, when the sky is turning blue and the air is clean and full of promise.

If luxury were an object, what would it be?
A portrait painting by Lucas Cranach.

If luxury were a person, who would it be?
Cy Twombly.

If luxury were a place, where would it be?
Hotel Il Pellicano.