Philip Treacy: The Mad Hatter

Milliner Philip Treacy has established himself as a headwear visionary, crafting exquisite and inventive hats for designers like Alexander McQueen and Valentino and clients ranging from Grace Jones to Sarah Jessica Parker to Lady Gaga. Tim Blanks takes a look at the designer’s Fall 1999 runway show, in which Treacy’s wearable art was the star, with the clothes coming in second.

Released on 2/12/2015

Credits

Starring: Tim Blanks

Music:
"1 in Heaven," MNDR
"Out of My Head," Max and the Moon

Transcript

00:00
When a woman wears a hat, she feels a million dollars,
00:03
which is the whole reason to wear a hat.
00:06
♫ You better step away
00:08
♫ Number one in heaven with a bullet
00:12
♫ I'll come for you when I can
00:14
♫ Tell them I'm smiling
00:18
Welcome back to Throwback Thursdays, I'm Tim Blanks.
00:21
Today we're looking at the work of hat maker, Philip Treacy
00:24
and I think that's worth a share.
00:27
You see right away that his approach to hats
00:29
is pretty unlimited.
00:31
There is almost nothing he can't do with headgear.
00:35
He has designed for Lady Gaga,
00:37
he was responsible for Sarah Jessica Parker's hats
00:40
in Sex and the City,
00:41
and 36 hats at the royal wedding
00:44
of Kate Middleton and Prince William.
00:48
Actually, he designed a hat for Prince Beatrice
00:51
that was lovingly described
00:53
as everything from an upturned toilet seat
00:55
to a satellite dish.
00:59
Designers no longer dictate
01:02
the cut, color, or shape of clothing.
01:05
It's a world of choice out there,
01:07
and hats fit very much into that individual choice.
01:10
[Tim] Philip Treacy is a leader of the Brit Hat Pack.
01:12
He's actually Irish, but he graduated
01:14
from the Royal College of Art in London in 1990
01:17
and was quickly taken up by Isabella Blow,
01:20
who was instrumental in establishing the careers
01:23
of many young talents, including Alexander McQueen,
01:26
with whom Treacy worked.
01:31
Treacy diverged from his peers in daring to assume
01:34
that his hats could carry an entire fashion show.
01:37
Over the years, he staged several spectacular presentations
01:41
devoted entirely to his headgear,
01:43
accompanied by clothes he would borrow
01:46
from designer friends.
01:47
We had the clothes made for the hat.
01:48
So for example with the moon,
01:51
Alexander McQueen designed a dress to go with it.
01:53
Usually I work for him and I design the hats
01:55
to go with his clothes, so when it's our turn to do a show,
01:58
we ask the designers to work in reverse.
02:03
In this show, I don't think that Philip Treacy
02:06
is saying that this is the new trend in headgear.
02:09
You think about what he does,
02:10
it really is a kind of wearable art,
02:12
a perfect combination of form and function.
02:17
Before Treacy and somebody like Steven Jones,
02:20
hats were definitely not something that were in fashion.
02:24
There's a whole culture around hats that is fascinating
02:29
and I think we're much more aware of it
02:32
because of the work of people like Treacy.
02:38
♫ I can't get you out of my head (My head)
02:47
♫ I can't get you out of my head (My head)
02:56
Hats on, hats off.
02:58
Leave a comment below, let me know what you thing.
03:00
This is Throwback Thursdays, I'm Tim Blanks.
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