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Mad hatters' party for fashion intern Megan

A student from west Cork has been living a royal fashion fairytale, watching Irish milliner Philip Treacy up close as he created hats and headpieces for family members of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Work experience positions don't come any more exciting than this internship for Bantry girl Megan Burns (20), who has had a front-row seat for the past month, observing Treacy, who is from Ahascragh, Co Galway, make hats for guests .

"Philip Treacy is one of my idols and it's been so exciting sitting in his London studio, watching him hand-sew all these amazing hats," said Megan, a third-year fashion student at Limerick School of Art & Design.

Her timing could not have been better. A month ago, Megan was putting in all-nighters in Limerick, working on her own collection. She applied for an internship and Treacy offered her a job after seeing her website, inviting her to start immediately.

For the past few weeks, Megan has been based in Putney, London, travelling daily to Treacy's studio in Battersea.

"I've had to pinch myself every day and I think it's only after the wedding that it will all sink in," said Megan, whose mother Rita, a dressmaker and soft furnishings designer, taught her to sew and embroider at the age of eight.

"Philip is the most down-to-earth, lovely person and everybody is so motivated working around him," she said.

"It's been the most amazing time in his studio, with film crews in every day and people calling by, wanting to see where their hats are made."

Treacy's star rose in royal circles after he became a favourite of Camilla Parker-Bowles and there was critical acclaim for the two headpieces he made for her 2005 wedding to Prince Charles.

After finishing all their orders, the milliner's staff will gather together today for a party while watching TV coverage of the wedding.

"One of the girls is having a party and we are all allowed to wear a Philip Treacy hat, it's going to be great fun," said Megan.

Irish Independent