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What You Didn't Know About... Philip Treacy OBE

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Words Rhona Ezuma   Photography Kevin Davies   Pictured Philip Treacy and Naomi Campbell

A five-time winner of the British Accessory Designer of the Year award, Philip Treacy has created some of the most memorable hats of the last two decades. He’s also one of the most sought-after milliners in the world, genuine fashion royalty and has a host of famous fans. 

And this February fans will get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at Treacy and his work with the release of a new book, Philip Treacy, by his long-time friend and official photographer, Kevin Davies. Here are some facts about Treacy and tasters from the upcoming book…

1

The book is the result of a 20-year colloboration between the Treacy and Davies during which the photographer had unrivalled access to Treacy during all stages of his creative process.

2

The book features more than 200 photographs which follow Treacy from the studio to the catwalk to gain an insight into his unique working methods. 

3

In his annual show at London Fashion Week 2012 Treacy based his collection around Michael Jackson’s career. The all-black cast Alek Wek, Jordan Dunn and Joan Smalls modelled MJ-inspired designs.

4

In 2007 he was presented with an honourary OBE from the Queen for his exceptional contribution to the British Fashion Industry. 

5

His fans include André Leon Talley, Isabella Blow, the Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Gaga, Grace Jones, Iman, Victoria Beckham and Queen Elizabeth.

6

Philip Treacy’s Hats have been featured in the runway collections of Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gareth Pugh, Armarni, Gianni Versace, Givenchy, Thierry Mugler and Rifat Ozbek.

7

He made his London Fashion Week debut in 1993 with a cast that included Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon, Kate Moss, Stella Tennant and Christy Turlington.

8

Isabella Blow was so impressed with Treacy that she let him work in the basement of her Belgravia house following his graduation from the Royal College of Art in 1990. She also championed his work with her friends – saying that his hats would make them feel so good about themselves it would save them from resorting to plastic surgery.

9

At the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, 36 guests wore a hat designed by Treacy including Victoria Beckham and Princess Beatrice of York (whose hat fetched £81,100 when it wa was later auctioned for charity).

10

Kevin Davies’ book includes 20 stills of some of his most iconic one-off creations including the Rosewell (1998), Upside Down Rose (2000), and Fred Astaire Dancing on Discs (2003).

Philip Treacy by Kevin Davies, available to pre-order now at phaidon.com/philiptreacy

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