Artist, milliner, genius, mentalist, whatever you think of Philip Treacy OBE there is no denying his success and influence in the fantastical headwear world. Adored by the elite of the celebrity world, Philip Treacy's creations have been worn by everyone from Grace Jones to Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, to Naomi Campbell and of course princess Beatrice for the royal wedding in THAT hat.
After studying at Central Saint Martins in 1988 and with the endorsement of Isabella Blow, Philip Treacy went on to design hats for the heavyweights of the fashion world, including Chanel, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Valentino. In 2007 he was awarded an OBE in recognition for his services to the British fashion industry, cementing him as one of the great influential British designers of our time.
In September Philip Treacy returned to London Fashion Week for the first time in twelve years to showcase his SS13 collection in collaboration with Swarovski. Inspired by Africa, the show used only black models including supermodels Naomi Campbell, Alex Wek and Grace Jones who were each clad in clothing from the late king of pop Michael Jackson’s very own wardrobe and strutting to a mix of the singer’s greatest hits.
Lady Gaga opened the show, covered in a mysterious fuschia pink burka which collided both crazy and chic into the same concept. Despite the craziness of the catwalk aesthetic, Treacy’s millinery skills never failed to take centre stage. Mohawk helmets, crystal covered masterpieces, LED-lit body cocoons, egg shaped helmets, oversized fascinators, feathers, structured fabrics and over the top fabulousness galore which was all met with a unanimous roar of applause.
When asked why he loves designing hats for English women, he stated, ‘Hats are part of the English culture, part of the language, part of the landscape. There is a fearlessness attached to Englishness. They look very conservative in their tweed hunting suits, but they sure don’t want a conservative hat on. England is about possibility. And at the same time fashion is about dreams. The Swarovski crystals, for instance that I am using in my recent collaboration are the very stuff of dreams. They are the essence of possibility.’