Wednesday 17 July 2019

Hats and heroes: The Irish connection

Philip Treacy
Philip Treacy
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Karl Lagerfeld was a genius in his own right, but he helped so many designers emerging into haute couture. No one knows the impact Lagerfeld could have on your career more than Irish hatmaker Philip Treacy.

Philip, from Ahascragh, Co Galway, admits he got his "big break" when Karl invited him to come to Chanel in Paris and it turned into a bountiful long-term relationship with the prestigious French couture house.

Treacy designed a hat for Chanel that appeared on the cover of British Vogue worn by model Linda Evangelista (below). He recalled his introduction when interviewed by the Irish Independent.

"I was 23 and I'd just left [art] school. I didn't know whether to call him Mr Lagerfeld or whatever. I was totally intimidated but Issie [Blow] was exactly herself. She just walked into the house of Chanel and said: 'We'd like some tea please.' I would design hats for Chanel for the next decade."

He visited Dublin about 30 years ago at the invitation of Noelle Campbell-Sharp and made a huge impression on those who met him at a private dinner, including designer Louise Kennedy.

"He's always been a hero of mine," she said yesterday. "The man constantly reinvented himself. I was privileged to meet him many many years ago. I've watched how he was always moving forward. I think he always brought a very young perspective. He was influenced by some incredibly vibrant musicians. He was always ahead of the trend."

Irish Independent

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