Philip Treacy

Philip Treacy

Philip Treacy (born 26 May 1966) is one of the world's foremost hat designers or milliners.

Born near Ballinasloe in County Galway, Ireland, Treacy lived with his seven brothers and sister. He studied fashion at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. He is now based in London and has designed hats for Alexander McQueen's white 'Haute Couture' collection at Givenchy in Paris and for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. He has been awarded the title of British Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards on five occasions during the early 1990s.

In 2005 he was commissioned to design hats for the wedding of the Prince of Wales to the Duchess of Cornwall.

The year 2005 also saw the culmination of his work as Design Director for The G Hotel. A five star hotel in Galway City, it is the flagship of the Monogram Hotel Group - a subsidiary of Irish developer Edward Holdings.

On 16 February 2006, he launched the collaborative collection 'Philip Treacy for Umbro' at The Royal Horticultural Hall during London Fashion Week. The collection promised to surprise and excite fashion and sports industries, but proved unsuccessful and lasted only one season. The launch featured modelling from Jasmine Guinness, Erin O’Connor, Alek Wek, Grace Jones and appearances from Michael Owen and Tara Palmer Tompkinson.

He also designed the infamous peacock hat that Sarah Jessica Parker wore to the London premiere of Sex and the City. [Wikipedia.org]

Paired with D&G swimsuit

Isabella Blow

When Philip Met Isabella
As a student project, Philip Treacy made Ascot hats for Harrods department store. Claire Stubbs, its fashion director, hailed him in the Sunday Times as “the next great British hat maker”. Treacy took his hats to show Michael Roberts, fashion director of Tatler magazine, and his style editor Isabella Blow. “What a beauty!” recounted Blow. “It was a green felt hat cut like the jaws of a crocodile with jaggedy teeth… a lot like Concorde –streamlined, sleek, so exciting. I thought: ‘This is major. I’ve never seen felt cut like this.’”

Blow was soon to be married and, having chosen a Medieval theme for her wedding dress, she tracked down Treacy and asked him to make her head-dress. “I wanted to base the hat on a 1930s play called The Miracle which Lady Diana Cooper was in,” remembered Treacy. “I suggested to Issy that maybe this would be good for a wedding. I couldn’t believe that I’d hit upon the one person who didn’t expect tulle and veiling and pearls and that for her wedding hat.”

Taking Treacy under her wing, Isabella Blow introduced him to established designers like Manolo Blahnik and Rifat Ozbek, as well as fashion editors such as Andre Leon Talley of US Vogue. When Philip left the Royal College in 1990, he moved into the basement of Blow’s house and set up a studio there. “Issy was living upstairs with her resident hat-maker in the basment working away all night long coming up with the goodies. Suddenly all these wild people pitched up at all hours of the night to try on hats. Issy and I were like Harold and Maude trekking around London in a car… we’d go to an exhibition, we’d go and get books, we’d go and have a drink. All the talk was of hats.” [...]

He not only made hats fantastical – his creations for Isabella Blow ranged from The Ship, a replica 18th century sailing ship with full rigging and The Castle based on Blow’s ancestral home at Doddington Park and Prince Ludwig of Bavaria’s palace, to Gilbert & George, a surreal concoction of pink and green laquered ostrich feathers and a mortar board so wide that Isabella couldn’t fit through the door of the charity event she had ordered it for – he also lightened their structure so they sat more comfortably on the head. “You know that scenario where roses are red, leaves are green, I love arguing that. ‘Why should they be?’. I hate rules and formulas. That’s so boring. It’s the opposite of creativity. Rules are ridiculous things that are meant to be broken.” [...]

Alexander McQueen runway__spring 08

Runway gallery

Unlikely Sculpture: Hatforms by Philip Treacy
Treacy's work is clearly part of the fashion world but his 'unlikely' sculptures also cross the boundary into visual art.
'I identify with craftspeople. Hatmaking is a craft! he says, 'My favorite artist is Picasso.. I love his bric-a-brac sculptures.'

Cranbrook Art Museum

Cranbrook Art Museum

Milliner's Crossing
[smh.com.au - Apr.06]
HE ONCE created a hat in the shape of a sailing ship - "Michael Jackson offered £25,000 to buy it" - but for milliner to the stars Philip Treacy, nothing is so inspiring as the Sydney Opera House. "[It's] the biggest hat in the world; the most beautiful hat in the world," Treacy told us over the phone from his London studio. "I've got lots of hats that look like [it]." He'll be able to see for himself on Saturday when he arrives in town to bedeck Emirates airline ambassadors Belinda Seper, model Sophie Ward (sister of Gemma) and Tara Moss with chapeaux for Derby Day. He'll also be on hand to judge Fashions on the Field, and although he's never been to an Australian racing carnival, or created hats for one, he has high hopes for us. "Glamour transcends culture," he says, "and Australians love hats. I've never met so many hat designers in any one country before."

photog: Irving Penn__Vogue__1996

Glove Hat

model: Angie Ng

Fabulous Hats - stamps

Philip Treacy - paperback
"I think and hope I have changed the way we look at hats. They are no longer symbols of conformity but highly individual acts of rebellion. I am constantly challenging the perception of what a hat should be and what role it should play." - Philip Treacy
No one who loves hats will be able to resist the wonderful story of the Irishman who creates timeless headwear. Born in County Galway to a plentiful family made up of a baker father, seven brothers, and a sister, Philip Treacy was taught to hold a sewing needle by his tiny village's school teacher. With it, he has freed the hat from the dictums of fashions and trends, creating sculptures for the crown out of veils, feathers, artificial flowers, straw, and gauze, as well as shadows and illusion.

Philip Treacy for Umbro

g Hotel
Grand Salon

g Hotel
The 5 star g Hotel, Galway, located in the west of Ireland, a city bursting with life, energy and vitality.
One of the top five star hotels, the g combines both modern designs with a relaxed atmosphere. Design director, Philip Treacy, has created dramatic interiors, where the emphasis is on luxury and glamour with personalised service so guests receive the best of Irish hospitality. The g Hotel, where old-fashioned Hollywood glamour meets 21st century style.

Pink Salon

Official Opening vid
The g video media



Door handle

The Gold List 2009

Stephen Jones

Royal Ascot attendee

History of Hat at V&A
From tiara to trilby and pork pie to Panama, a new exhibition will celebrate the crowning glory of any outfit - the hat.

Designs worn by Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Madonna and Anna Piaggi will join a selection of 300 pieces dating from 600BC to the present day.

The collection is being put together for the Victoria and Albert Museum by Stephen Jones, one of Britain's most influential milliners.

He said today he hoped to provide an anthology of hats exploring their history, their position in the world of fashion, the wardrobes of collectors and one-off designs made for some of the world's most famous faces. [...]

Jones has been a milliner for more than 25 years and collaborated with designers including John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, Giles Deacon and Rei Kawakubo. He is now sifting through the museum's archives to find the best representations of past styles. [...]

Noel Stewart
Head Start
To mark the first day of Royal Ascot, where the dress code famously specifies that ladies must wear hats, and because hats are back in a big way for fall, we thought we’d check in with one of the new breed of British milliners, Noel Stewart, on the current state of affairs of the head.

Hats, Beautiful Hats
As the season of hat-donning looms close, we have rounded up the work of five milliners whose creations will ensure you stand out from the crowd.

Noel Stewart made the wide-brimmed hat for Anna Friel as Holly Golightly in the upcoming theatre production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He also snagged the job of hatter for Britney Spear’s current world tour. Beth Ditto and Kylie are fans. His most recent collection turns the stained glass window of Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral into woven jacquards and metallised crin (thin gauzy ribbon).

Hat trick: “Always 'work’ a hat. It will lend you a power you wouldn’t have hatless.”

Noel Stewart - Lookbook (spring 09)

Royal Ascot
Treacy Races Ahead
[Vogue.co.uk - Mar.08]

WHO BETTER to help launch this year's Royal Ascot - the unmissable racing event as famous for its headgear as its horses - than master milliner Philip Treacy? The designer has created a striking image featuring one of his iconic hats to kick off the action for 2008.

A keen photographer, Treacy shot Martha Sitwell, wearing Alexander McQueen, against a background scene of Ascot Opening Day, which was painted by James Pollard and dates back to 1836. Charles Barnett, Ascot Racecourse's chief executive, is thrilled with the result, calling it "the epitome of sophistication and style". Treacy is equally thrilled to be onboard. "Royal Ascot gives me the opportunity to create and style some of the most amazing hats to suit each and everyone one of my clients," he says. "It's an honour to have them worn at the greatest race meeting in the world."

As well its world-class racing, for the second year running Royal Ascot will also be hosting the Royal Ascot Fashion Show in the Bessborough Restaurant, bringing together top designers from around the world - Vivienne Westwood has already confirmed - to showcase the very latest male and female couture on the catwalk.

Hats Off to Treacy
Never take your hat off. Izzy Blow used to say that people would come up to her in the street and ask if they could try on her hat and she was disgusted saying it was the equivalent of someone asking to try on your underwear.

Royal Ascot 2008 with Philip Treacy (vid)


Zara Phillips

Hats and Horses - slideshow
For many in England, the Royal Ascot horse race, spread over five days, is one of the summer season's social highlights.

NY Times slideshow
BBC Sport slideshow

Ascot on a Budget
If your budget is high and your tastes expensive high class milliners like Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy are the designers of choice. If, like me, your budget is a little (ok, a lot) smaller then there are other ways to get your hat fix.

My Fair Lady (1964)
Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle