Philip Treacy: ‘A hat is plastic surgery for the face’

Stylefile: Hats, Ascot, fascinators and fashion prints

Red pillbox with silk chiffon rose and veiling by Philip Treacy at the Design Centre, Powerscourt.

Red pillbox with silk chiffon rose and veiling by Philip Treacy at the Design Centre, Powerscourt.

 

“A hat is plastic surgery for the face without the pain and a highly individual act of rebellion,” stated Philip Treacy in a riveting interview with Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs a few weeks ago. During the course of the show he talked about his background growing up in Ahascragh in Galway and how his interest in sewing and wanting to make fashion clothes for a doll made him “completely different to the others”.

Watching his mother spending a long time working out the angle of her hat was a formative experience “and now I believe that the positioning of a hat is more important than the hat itself”. He also spoke of how Ascot keeps the industry going, his hatred of fascinators “a word that sounds like some dodgy sex act”, recalled his friendships with Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen, and his admiration for Grace Jones and Kate Bush. In Ireland, Design Centre in Powerscourt has been his exclusive stockist for the past 20 years and this fiery red hat is from his latest collection. Visit bbc.co.uk to listen to the podcast or visit designcentredublin.com

‘Flowers in her Hair’ by Susannah Garrod, from the Fashion Illustration Gallery London. See fashionilllustrationgallery.com
‘Flowers in her Hair’ by Susannah Garrod, from the Fashion Illustration Gallery London. See fashionilllustrationgallery.com

Prints Charming

There is something about fashion illustration that makes it often more powerful than a photographic image. The best like Renee Grau can convey the line with just two dramatic strokes of the pen, others use colour, humour or whimsicality to get to the heart of a designer’s ideas.

The Fashion Illustration Gallery in London specialises in illustrators from unique pieces specially drawn for a Vogue cover, for instance, as well as prints from up and coming talents – usually around £350-£400 (€390-€446). Some of the best of those working today include Gladys Perint Palmer, author of Fashion People, David Downton, well known for his work with Marks & Spencer, and Daisy de Villeneuve whose angular, zany images of faces (including one celebrating St Patrick’s Day) have their own distinct identity. This one with its airy, inky brushstrokes is by Susannah Garrod called “Flowers in her Hair” and is a unique work. For prices visit fashiongallery.com

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