The Philip Treacy Interview

Posted by Jeffrey
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Lady Gaga and Philip Treacy.

Today we are in the presence of genius, brilliance and creativity on steroids! I speak of Phillip Treacy, milliner extraordinaire, designer and confidante to those as brilliant as he.

Wikipedia says this about him “He has designed hats for Alexander McQueen's white Haute Couture collection at Givenchy in Paris, for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, and for Valentino, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan. He was awarded the title of British Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards on five occasions during the early 1990s. The late Isabella Blow, style editor of Tatler, helped Treacy launch himself as a well-known milliner and wore many of his hats.”

I can only say that while this was presented as a fashion show during London fashion week, I prefer to call it a live exhibit of what a living talent can create when one has limitless abilities as well as the facilities to make dreams come true. No matter what the ‘theme” of the show might have been, there is only one starring role and that is taken up these “hats” or head ornaments or millinery or why not just say works of art.

I have often stated that fashion is an art form and it is at this moment, with this review and interview, that I can clearly and definitively say that this man proves me right. It is one of the rare times when my merchant mentality cannot kick in because the creative side of me will allow for such pedestrian thoughts!

I salute Mr. Treacy, I salute his métier and I above all, salute a mind that knows no bounds!

There are so few designers ... of anything... who reach career highs within their lifetime and remain there. We are not talking about the “pets” or the media darlings who have PR machines and corporate money behind them, I speak of independent super talents who achieved this designation or plateau with their god given talents … my focus is Philip Treacy. Today it is all about celebrating a creative wunderkind who knows no bounds and who is instantly synonymous with his métier. As far as I can see, this is a man of epic talent and endless imagination who creates for runways, royalty and never ever the run of the mill!! While he may be a bit brief in his replies to my questions he is wildly prolific in his output! What needs to be considered he is one question and one reply…. “What is your bliss?” and the reply is inventing hats!! Please take note of the choice of words here as they are so very telling of the man!! … Inventing!!!! Bravo !


Jeffrey Felner: What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?

Philip Treacy: My Alexander McQueen suits, he gave me.

JF: What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?

PT: Loyalty

JF: What is your bliss?

PT: Inventing hats

JF: What is your guilty secret?

PT: I think about new hats all day long

JF: Where is your ideal home?

PT: London, it’s a fantasy.


JF: What do you wear to bed?

PT: Not much


JF: What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”

PT: Originality


JF: Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?

PT: Isabella Blow

JF: What is the best advice you ever received?

PT: Make hats.

JF: In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.

PT: Trendless, open, marketing

JF: If you were a retailer; would you wear your own designs or shop in your own store?

PT: Yes

JF: Or where would you shop?

PT: Harrods

JF: If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?

PT: Plants. I love gardening.

JF: If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?

PT: Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson

JF: What is your favorite movie /or movie star?

PT: Legend / Tom Cruise

JF: Whose opinion do you value most and why?

PT: The people I work with, I trust them

JF: What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?

PT: It’s all legible

JF: Do you have a dream collaborator?

PT: Marlene Dietrich

JF: What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?

PT: Surviving as a hat designer in the 21st century

JF: What’s your music library like?

PT: Chaotic

JF: What and where is your favorite meal?

PT: Anything my partner Stefan cooks


(L) Isabella Blow and Philip Treacy, Vanity Fair, Photo by Donald McPherson, 2003. (R) Isabella Blow in Philip Treacy.


Isabella Blow wearing Philip Treacy Designs.


Sarah Jessica Parker, Pippa Middleton & Kate Middleton in Philip Treacy Hats.


(L) Lillian Bassman. (R) Marcus Tomlinson for Visionaire N° 25, 1998. (Both wearing Hats by Treacy)


(L) Jourdan Dunn in Christian Dior & Philip Treacy, Photo by Jason Kibbler, Russian Vogue, June 2009. (R) Kate Moss, Philip Treacy F/W 1996.


(L) Linda Evangelista in Feather Hat by Philip Treacy, Photo by Irving Penn, "The Cutting Edge" Vogue US, January 1992. (R) Snejana Onopka in Oscar de la Renta Top & Skirt, Philip Treacy Haute Couture Hat and Giambattista Valli sandals, Harper’s Bazaar Romania Winter 2007.


Dita Von Teese, Britney Spears & Lady Gaga in Philip Treacy Hats.


Naomi Campbell and Philip Treacy, Photo by Kevin Savies, Royal Ascot, 6 June 2002.


(L) Little Archie and Helena wearing a Philip Treacy hat, Photo by Garda Tang, Harper's Bazaar Thailand January 2014. (R) Iris Palmer in Philip Treacy hat, Photo by Sean Ellis.


Madonna, Isabella Blow, Lady Gaga in Philip Treacy Hats.


Philip Treacy Spring 2013.

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