All the World’s a Hat: A Conversation with Philip Treacy

June 2, 2010 • Accessories


Amanda Aldinger 
for Second City Style Magazine

London-based couture milliner Philip Treacy has worked
with some of fashion's most iconic designers, and has held positions
as the chief milliner for Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Valentino.

The creative mind behind the butterfly-adorned plant hat atop Sarah
Jessica Parker at the Sex and the City movie premiere last year,
as well as Lady Gaga's glitterized multi-tiered lightening bolt creation
from this year Grammy's, Treacy's finely detailed and masterful pièces
de résistance rarely want for recognition. On a recent trip to Neiman
Marcus in Chicago, where he showcased a variety of hats from his latest
collection, Treacy and I sat down for a chat on glamour, the Lady Gaga
effect, and everyone's need for a touch of fantasy.

SCS: I was reading your interview with the Houston
Chronicle, and you said that "your bread and butter comes from a highly
conservative woman." What did you mean by that?                          

PT: What I meant is that people think I make hats
for crazy people, but I actually make hats for quite conservative women,
English women – who are pretty wild. They look conservative, because
real eccentricity is not crazy. Eccentricity is much more subtle. Some
of them are actually quite conservative outwardly, but inwardly they
have their own sense of fantasy, like most people. 

SCS: Do you have specific women in mind when you
design each hat?

PT: No – they're just all hoping to meet a
personality, really. Wearing a hat is about desire – I'm appealing to
desire. We don't need a hat, but we do need some things to make us make
feel better. That's why people shop. I very rarely find something I
want, but when I do, I really want it. And that's fantastic. I depend on
that desire, because you're appealing to something inexplicable in a
person. You're selling fantasy.

Read more "A Conversation with Philip Treacy" here.

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