London goes 'Gaga' for Philip Treacy's creations
LADY GAGA was the star attraction as superstar hat-maker Philip Treacy made a dramatic return to London Fashion Week after an eight year absence last night.
The controversial pop star, wearing a stunning floral headpiece, chatted with the gently-spoken milliner from Ahrascragh, Co Galway, during the show.
The star-studded VIP audience included Grace Jones, Kelly Brook, actress Kim Cattrall, musician Bryan Ferry, burlesque performer Dita Von Teese, designer Gareth Pugh and musician Nick Rhodes.
Treacy (45) has turned into a global fashion leader and a royal favourite since he last showed in London in 2004.
For his return last night, the world's most famous hat maker looked to Africa for a theme -- the empowerment of black women.
Invitations to his 8.45pm show at the Royal Courts of Justice were like gold dust.
Guests who queued politely to see the hats were not disappointed as Treacy revealed an innovative spring/summer 2013 collection with 36 pieces.
Treacy started out making hats using feathers from his mother's geese in east Galway but nowadays his materials, like his clients, are far more exotic.
Since graduating from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin, Treacy was championed by the late magazine editor Isabella Blow and Camilla Parker-Bowles and made world headlines last year when he made 36 hats for the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Kate Middleton.
Meanwhile, Irish designers John Rocha and Una Burke both surprised London audiences by introducing more colour than usual into their new collections. Dublin-based Rocha is famous for his black and ecru palette, with the odd pop of colour thrown in. However, for next season, he has introduced uplifting punchy reds, saffron yellow, washed out lilacs, sky blue, blush pink -- more colours than he has ever used before and with every outfit came organza hats which sat like clouds on the models' heads.
Backstage at his show at Somerset House on Saturday, Rocha explained how he found inspiration at Chateau La Coste in Provence where he is creating a glass chapel made of crystal and stone for developer Paddy McKillen.
"The clothes are quite romantic but there is a hard edge too, a balance of strength and tenderness," said Rocha.
Luxury leathers designer Una Burke from Roscomm- on attracted huge attention with 'Grazia' and various 'Vogue' publications queu-ing to photograph her leat-her pieces in cobalt blue, turquoise, fuchsia and pink.