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Philip Treacy: the ”MAGIC HATTER”

Written By: Patrizia Bertucci @fashion.whispers

All photos from Instagram: @philiptreacy

His name is most likely unknown to many, yet this Irish, born in 1967 in the small village of Ahascragh, in County Galway of the Republic of Ireland, has been defined by Vogue magazine as “the greatest living hat designer”.

During his years of study in Dublin, at the National College of Art and Design in 1985, he began drawing hats as a hobby and did an internship at the Stephen Jones hatter. His interest in "needle and thread" began at the age of five and most likely stems from his obsession with attending weddings celebrated in the church in front of his home which inspired his first passion for fashion.

Thanks to his already strong talent he wins a scholarship for the fashion design course at the Royal College of Art in London where he graduated in 1990 with full marks.

In 1989 he brought one of his hats to Michael Roberts, fashion editor of Tatler magazine and the style editor, Isabella Blow remained immediately fascinated by Treacy’s creativity and inspiration and asked him to create a hat to wear for her wedding. Thus a true friendship was born and Blow invited Treacy to live in her London home where he started working in her basement. Isabella Blow was a real inspiring “MUSA” for Treacy who designed a whole series of fantastic hats for her that made her a true ICON OF STYLE: in 2002, the Design Museum in London hosted an exhibition of the 30 most iconic Treacy’s hats designed for Blow, entitled: When Philip met Isabella.

It was in 1991, when Treacy was 23 years old, that he had his real great opportunity: at the suggestion of Isabella Blow he was called by Karl Lagerfeld to work in the Chanel showrooms in Paris. A long collaboration started with Chanel: the first hat that Treacy designed for Chanel appeared on the cover of British Vogue worn by Linda Evangelista. Also in 1991, Treacy opened its first showroom in London, and won the first of five awards for the British accessories designer of the year.

In 1994, he opened his boutique at 69 Elizabeth Street, in Belgravia, London, right next to the residence of his dear friend Isabella Blow.

In his career Treacy has designed hats for Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Chanel, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Versace and Rifat Özbek. In addition to haute couture, he has also designed hats for cinema, for example the Harry Potter’s saga and many international stars who, fascinated by his work, have often collaborated, including true friendship with the stylist: from Grace Jones to Lady Gaga to Madonna to Sarah Jessica Parker. Treacy hats are also associated with the English royal family: many of his creations worn at the royal wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton and that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. From the red carpet to the most important royals in the world to world stars: Philip Treacy is the pencil behind the most extravagant and exaggerated hats worn on official occasions.

Defining his creations as simple “hats” is very simplistic: they are considered real "wearable sculptures" capable of speaking and telling the dreams and emotions of those who choose them. Real acts of rebellion against the conformism of society…I love Treacy’s creativity and you?

Here some of his


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