LiveStudio: Philip Treacy

Live on 25 March 2010

Milliner Philip Treacy improvised a 'feather salad' of a headpiece live in the studio, while answering questions from the public on his career and creative process as he worked.

Milliner Philip Treacy improvised a 'feather salad' of a headpiece live in the studio, while answering questions from the public on his career and creative process as he worked.

204 Q&A Posts

25 MAR 2010. 19:12

Q. Finally what became of the Caribbean beach driftwood peacock?
A. who wants to know?

25 MAR 2010. 19:08Q. Is Goran gay? He has a secret admirer.

25 MAR 2010. 19:06

Q. Can we see Mr. Goran?
A. If you pay attention.  maybe.

25 MAR 2010. 19:02

Q. Who was the beautiful man holding the hat earlier!
A. Mr. Goran.

25 MAR 2010. 18:57

Q. My first fashion moment was to see your collection on TV in the late 90's.
A. Oh.  Thank you.

25 MAR 2010. 18:56

Q. Philip, you are looking tired, what will yo do for the rest of the evening? The hat is magnificent x
A. Going to see Private Lives.

25 MAR 2010. 18:56

Q. Why don't u make designer moped helmets?
A. Any minute now.

25 MAR 2010. 18:55

Q. I missed you steff and wanted to see you in frame, haven't been to bora bora and want to go with the most fun guys i know krister
A. For those that couldn't hear at home: (laughing ensued.)

25 MAR 2010. 18:50

Q. nice suit! who made that? papi chulo
A. It's a McQueen.  All McQueen. 

25 MAR 2010. 18:48

Q. can we get steffan in the frame
A. on the way.  and do what?

25 MAR 2010. 18:42

Q. Do you get your hat feathers from Goran's Serbian chest?
A. Don't know what to say to that.

25 MAR 2010. 18:42

Q. Alber Elbaz
A. What about him?  I like the clothes he designs.  I don't know him.  But i like how he's embraced his look. 

25 MAR 2010. 18:40

Q. do you collect press clippings of your works?
A. Somebody does.  or is supposed to.

25 MAR 2010. 18:38

Q. the languages are polish, italian, french and english,,... its so confusing !
A. sounds confusing.

25 MAR 2010. 18:37

Q. If you where to make a bejewelled Crown for a great historical figure who would it be and why? and what jewels would you use Richard H (CSM) (p.s. give a big hug to Waka and the girls for me)
A. I don't know how to answer that question.

25 MAR 2010. 18:35

Q. i apologise, i forgot i was talking to THE fashion man, is a zipped sweatshirt, right ??? that s what happens when you are not an English native speaker and was brought up in a family speaking four languages !!! i am forgiven
A. where are you from and what four languages?

25 MAR 2010. 18:31

Q. the drink thing was krister lol
A. Thanks Krister. 

25 MAR 2010. 18:31

Q. first big fashion editorial feature?
A. Must have been by a photographer called Tyrn. He did a shoot for Vogue when I was in school and photographed my hats.

25 MAR 2010. 18:29

Q. i have noticed that the shapes of the feathers on that gorgeous hat are identical to the ones on your jumper.. are you sending a message ? :) or is it just late and i had a long day ??
A. To the ones on my jumper? I am not wearing a jumper.

25 MAR 2010. 18:28

Q. Why doesn't some one give philip a proper drink !!
A. Who's that?

25 MAR 2010. 18:26

Q. Have you work with rei kawakubo?
A. No.  I haven't.  Why?

25 MAR 2010. 18:21

Q. Isabella Blow
A. Inexplicable.  It was like having the best fun you've ever had in your entire life, everyday.  She was completly irreverant and didn't suck up to anyone.  She taught me about beautiful things.  There was a journalist asking me really stupid things one day and she told me to simply tell them that I believed in beautiful things which sounds really full on but it's exactly what it's all about. 

25 MAR 2010. 18:20

Q. Sophie here again Sorry for not being specific enough what I meant was for you to pick an inspiring experience you'd like to talk about...
A. Pick an icon.  Your choice.

25 MAR 2010. 18:18

Q. Hello, I can't for some reason connect to the live stream - but have been waiting to see Philip work hopefully I can connect before the end. There is a link to a picture of the work with liquid crystal fabrics: But I will send some other images via email if possible as the work is not really in the public domain yet as it has been part of a research project. I am really interested in how designers might use these materials in the future.
A. I think that this sort of thing would be better for a clothing designer.

25 MAR 2010. 18:14

Q. Please Talk us through one of your most inspiring experiences as a milliner Thank you... Sophie
A. I don't know where to begin.  Can you get back to me with more specifics.

25 MAR 2010. 18:06

Q. Hi! got this link from pamela anderson facebook....lovely work! bravo!
A. I love Pamela Anderson.  She's one of my favourite people.

25 MAR 2010. 18:06

Q. Would you be open to collaboration with ethnic textile weavers? Who would we contact to send proposals to such if ever?
A. Me?  I am afraid I don't really work with ethnic textiles, unless they are real.  It might be stupid to say no. Maybe they are amazing.  Maybe not.

25 MAR 2010. 18:04

Q. an amazing thing against moths is teak wood, and it smells nice love krister
A. helpful.  how did you know that?

25 MAR 2010. 17:58

Q. check visionaire book number 56. they use that material .
A. Does it look exciting?  If we find a picture of book number 56, will it be a good representation of how innovative the material is? 

25 MAR 2010. 17:57

Q. I think its amazing how you have been to the Philippines. Were you there for work (sinamay related i suppose) or play ?
A. For work, and play.  Always.

25 MAR 2010. 17:54

Q. When you've made a piece (or two) for Grace Jones, do she have any input in the design or do you just present it to her?
A. She doesn't usually have input into it. I just give her hats that make her look fabulous.  She is a very good person to work with. Putting a hat on Grace Jones is like working with living design; she brings it to life. 

25 MAR 2010. 17:38

Q. I would like to know if Mr Treacy will be accompanying Lady Gaga when she comes to Brazil. I really hope so, and if so, I would like to invite both of them to a dinner party at my humble penthouse, well not that humble, in Copacabana, right next to the Copacabana Palace Hotel Hope to see you soon Mr Treacy, love your work, I have a few of your creations Vera Loyola loves you
A. I will not be in Brazil with Gaga. Is this the penthouse where sneaky photos of Grace Jones were taken?

25 MAR 2010. 17:30

Q. love your work. this is great so far! How did this all come about? were you contacted by nick & SHOWstudio or did you go to him? Do they work only with established artists and designers or can anyone submit an idea?
A. I was contacted by Charlotte. 

25 MAR 2010. 17:24

Q. I can send you some images of the fabric, I have been creating different liquid crystal fabrics as part of a PhD in textile design. They don't emit light they change colour in reaction light/ warmth - they go through a colour change from red, yellow, green - blue but the colours look like colours emitted by light due to their liquid crystal structure.
A. But do they really change colour?  In terms of a visual thing, does it still end up looking like tie-dye?  If not, I'd like to see it!  If it's truly innovative, I'd love to see it.

25 MAR 2010. 17:16

Q. Would you be interested in using a liquid crystal fabric that changes through a spectrum of colours on temperature change?
A. Yes. Is it light? What does it look like?

25 MAR 2010. 17:13

Q. Do you work with textile designers to create new materials for your headpieces?
A. Not really, but I have in the past. If anybody has an interesting material, I would love to see it.

25 MAR 2010. 17:12

Q. HI Philip and Stefan, long time no see. This is a great idea! to have a peek into the way you work, could watch it for hours... Thank you again for lending the Queen of the night hat, it was the perfect hat for my performance. May take the show to Norway for a tour. And then a question: How do you keep hats and the feathers of the hats away from moths attack, without having them stink like an old man's breath?(I absolutely loath the smell of moth balls)
A. I really haven't ever come across that problem personally, and fortunately I like the smell of moth balls.  But regardless I've not had a problem of feathers being eaten by moths.

25 MAR 2010. 17:10

Q. Cheers from students and faculty here at the School of Fashion Design in Boston!!! We're curious what you think of the live streaming experience? Fishbowl or Forum?
A. I have the kind of wierd sensation of being observed but it's not so in your face as you would in a TV studio. 

25 MAR 2010. 17:10

Q. Are you aware of the current Fashion being created in Ireland and if so do you have an opinion? Helen
A. I don't know about it and therefore haven't got an opinion. 

25 MAR 2010. 17:03

Q. excellent ... thanks for the positive feedback. Adrian + Shane xx
A. You are very welcome!

25 MAR 2010. 16:59

Q. I'm the world's best painter and can't make a penny. Am I in the wrong business?
A. What kind of painter? An artist or painting houses?

25 MAR 2010. 16:58

Q. do you sketch before making a hat? if you don't sketch, do you find yourself discarding any hats?
A. Yes. Sometimes.  If the dogs have eaten it, and it's really truly dead, then yes, I throw them away.

25 MAR 2010. 16:58

Q. Do you know Tim Ryan?
A. Nope

25 MAR 2010. 16:57

Q. What would you recommend to someone looking to stand out within the fashion industry- you know, trying to build a name for themselves.. Should people try and experiment as much as possible with their personal style to be memorable, as it is so easy to be forgotten? JC, London.
A. Now. That's a tricky one.  It depends on what sort of standing out you want to do.  Why not dress up if you feel like it. It's hard to generalise that one. It doesn't matter what you're looking like so long as what you're producing is looking okay.  So work hard.

25 MAR 2010. 16:52

Q. Is that Grace Jones PA / Photographer in the background? What is it like working with such a prestigious artist?
A. How did you know? How did you recognise mr Goran?

25 MAR 2010. 16:47

Q. Who is your current muse?
A. She knows who she is!...

25 MAR 2010. 16:45

Q. has Philip had a chance to look at our artwork yet? did he hate it? :( Adrian + Shane xx
A. It is great! I love it, I love Banksy. I think you have to find a way of making it 'your own'. But some of the images you have a bit kind of twisted, and it looks good. Like the doll head and the bag. Very good!

25 MAR 2010. 16:45

Q. Would you consider an Island Fever Collection? Watching you with great admiration and love. Fatty & Sarah x
A. I'd like to be on an island, right now, with them.  How's the weather in the Bahamas?  And how are the dogs?  How many pups did you keep?

25 MAR 2010. 16:45

Q. What sort of hat do YOU want to wear?
A. I support hats in a different way!

25 MAR 2010. 16:44

Q. do you like saatchi, are you in touch with the art community?
A. I don't really know Charles Saatchi. I know who he is and anyone who supports artists is great. 

25 MAR 2010. 16:43

Q. Do you ever find it hard to know when to stop on a hat? Catherine in Dublin..
A. I know when it's finished! It could be soon, it could be a while...depends.

25 MAR 2010. 16:41

Q. What is the handsome man doing under the table?
A. Checking out the feathers! He's on a feather hunt.

25 MAR 2010. 16:41

Q. Dear Philip, Yoa are THE GREATEST! What a pleaser to see you live! AMAZING! Natasha - MALINDA`S Mum
A. Hello Malinda's Mum!

25 MAR 2010. 16:41

Q. What are your views on the growing population of the blogging network that is causing controversy at the moment.
A. It's hilarious.  Fashion is entertainment after all. and kids are approaching it like an art form these days.  Whereas before, the people who should see fashion shows should be the general public.  they wouldn't believe it.  they would love it.

25 MAR 2010. 16:38

Q. Hi Philip, glad to see you're wearing one of the fabulous track tops you created for Umbro!!!! Lots of Love, Miss
A. Hello Miss B, even charlotte commented on that!  And I have nothing against polyester anymore.

25 MAR 2010. 16:36

Q. Do you think the term Couture should be in someway Tesco and Primark can't missuse it
A. Oh no! I love couture at Tesco! I think Primark and Tesco using the word Couture to describe any of their products is a little bit far fetched..

25 MAR 2010. 16:36

Q. Hello Philip, Hope you are well. Cool idea to show and share what you do!!!!!!!!! Wonderful to see you make your creations Lots of love Shalke
A. thank you shalke.

25 MAR 2010. 16:36

Q. What is the longest amount of time you have taken on one piece of work? Stevie
A. Weeks sometimes. Not on something like this.

25 MAR 2010. 16:35

Q. do you enjoy the glamour of old hollywood and if so which old hollywood film actress do you feel wore hats well?
A. Old Hollywood is the reason why I am here today. That's what we're missing today..Old Hollywood not New Hollywood.

25 MAR 2010. 16:33

Q. Is this similar to how your proper studio is set up?
A. Um not really. It's different. There are more things in my own place. You collect lots of clutter.

25 MAR 2010. 16:32

Q. we have used so many of your hats in our projects...i work with pat field in nyc. its great to watch you.
A. thank you.

25 MAR 2010. 16:30

Q. If could afford your hats I would wear them every day......
A. Thank you

25 MAR 2010. 16:25

Q. if you weren't designing hats what would you do??
A. I have no idea! I couldn't imagine finding something more interesting to do for me!

25 MAR 2010. 16:24

Q. where did you get that fantastic t-shirt?
A. I have a funny feeling I borrowed it from somewhere! Isn't it great? I love Brillo! I made a hat out of Brillo once

25 MAR 2010. 16:21

Q. do you ever have design block.. and if so what do you do??
A. I'm having one right now! You have to figure it out as you go along. As a designer you think you're having one every day!

25 MAR 2010. 16:13

Q. what did you have for lunch?
A. Pizza Express

25 MAR 2010. 16:05

Q. What qualities does a designer have to have for you to consider a collaboration, and on that spirit would you even consider one? Or do you prefer working within your own team? How many are on your team? And finally (sorry!) if you had limitless money and time, what could you create and for who? Tom T
A. I only work with a few people now because it's easier. You have to work with a strong designer because otherwise it looks stupid!

25 MAR 2010. 15:55

Q. Enjoy your lunch lol krister
A. MR Goran is Serbian, he is a photographer and assists a very gentle person called Grace Jones!

25 MAR 2010. 15:42

Q. swiss alps
A. wow. With Brad Pitt?

25 MAR 2010. 15:41

Q. hi philip. you have tried your hand at some other things a sports range and interior design. what did you most like about these other mediums? were they more difficult than making hats...what was your motivation and inspiration when it came to these?
A. With interior design its like creating an atmosphere, creating a movie set. And the most exciting thing is spending somebody else's money! In the beginning I thought it was some complex medium, interior design, but its not, it is just taste. Also, its fun! When you go to a hotel these days you want to be transported from your normal boring life. So it has got to be fun.

25 MAR 2010. 15:39

Q. Hi phill looking good, styling away, and goran is taking some nice photos in the back i see. Can you send an hallo from krister and ask him what his favorit food is ? Blessings krister
A. Krister! Where are you Krister?

25 MAR 2010. 15:38

Q. Are you giving away your trade secrets by doing this on camera? Could I recreate this hat by watching the footage?
A. Good Luck!!

25 MAR 2010. 15:34

Q. Dear Philip, you mentioned earlier the word "clouds" as a reference for your work at Chanel. Could you please elaborate on your process when you work with a designer? For example how much do you adapt your work to the clothes? Thank you
A. It was not my idea of clouds, it was an example of how Karl Lagerfeld would say 'how about clouds' for inspirations. it was quite loose. I would go home and make something very voluminous and light.

25 MAR 2010. 15:34

Q. Would Philip agree that the recession in his homeland of Ireland might be beneficial to the creative arts there?
A. Yes, but also it is boring having no money!

25 MAR 2010. 15:33

Q. Do you consider Stephen Jones as you main rival
A. No, I have no rivals!

25 MAR 2010. 15:32

Q. hey philip. big fan of you, your work etc totally adore your creation, the g hotel! and wonder do you get home often to visit. how did it come about? what was your inspiration behind the pink room?? louise from galway x
A. I just thought it would be fun to make an experience when you go to a hotel.

25 MAR 2010. 15:30

Q. You mentioned the feathers you're working with came from the belly of a peacock. How do you source feathers? Are they removed from live animals?
A. Of course not! Poor Peacock, can you imagine!

25 MAR 2010. 15:30

Q. You said you like to work with new materials. How do you discover and explore them? In trade shows or expo?
A. Trade shows, Expo, on the street, anywhere. I'm open to all suggestions.

25 MAR 2010. 15:27

Q. Joy Division. Did you ever like their music?
A. Yes I did. It is beautiful music.

25 MAR 2010. 15:27

Q. Hello Philip, Have you seen the 2010 Feltmakers Award winners? If so what do you think of the winning hats? Marisa Groom
A. Haven't seen it.  Sorry.

25 MAR 2010. 15:26

Q. I'm ensconced in our office down below your feet tapping away at my computer, but I'm very interested to hear your views on one of my favourite people in the world, Mr Antony Price, as you've collaborated with him a great deal. Alex Fury,
A. He is a comedian.  And he is very clever and funny.  He also grew up on a farm, near birds like I did.  And we go to the national chicken championships together.  And he is a brilliant designer.  he can be a bit negative.  I mean he is not a negative person.  He can just be a bit negative in a funny way.

25 MAR 2010. 15:25

Q. do you ever get university students to intern with you, if so how do you apply?
A. Apply to

25 MAR 2010. 15:23

Q. I never wear hats like these. So I really wonder how you fix a hat on a head? by ribbons? by clips? or anything else? Do you invent your own wearing method, or are they traditional ones?
A. I invented my own.  What we do is make a line that goes into a persons hair so that the hat is balancing but so that the line can't be seen. It gives the appearance that the hat is balancing.

25 MAR 2010. 15:21

Q. Hi Philip, Declan Dooley (Pallas) of the Galway Independent Newspaper here. Just logged in to your studio now through the link on your email. Great to see you. It's a long time ago now since we shared the same school bus. You had style back then an boy have you used it to your advantage. Best of luck from all here in Galway :) Declan
A. Thank you so much Declan. It's lovely to hear from you.  I do think of those school bus journeys often.  They were very long, an hour and a half both ways.  What can I say, it's been a long time. 

25 MAR 2010. 15:20

Q. Has the means of hat making changed over time? The way you're creating the hat seems quite archaic (no offence intended!!) - I'm wondering if it's like haute couture, a world obsessed with tradition and traditional means of creation.
A. Archaic?  I mean really.  This is reality.  People always want to know what the equipement is. But my hands are the equipment.  I'm making a physical drawing.

25 MAR 2010. 15:18

Q. To veil, or not to veil? That is the question.
A. Veil.  To the floor.

25 MAR 2010. 15:17

Q. Hats aren't a daily wear for the vast majority of people these days, as opposed to say the 1940s or 1950s. Would you rather be creating hats back then, or do you find it more of a challenge to coax people into wearing hats in the contemporary world?
A. Answer B!

25 MAR 2010. 15:16

Q. what kind of hat bests suits someone with really big ears? from andy cameron in italy
A. Check out Noddy books and wear hats that look like his.  I supposed you need a hat that's big enough to cover your ears.

25 MAR 2010. 15:14

Q. My parents are not supportive. I'm 16 and really serious about fashion. I'm from Asia and it seems that every kid my age whose really into fashion should go to Paris. and its so far away..what do you advice me?
A. You don't have to go to Paris.  if you're parents are supportive, that's okay to.  Just find your own support system.  nothing will/should stop you if that's what you want to do. Paris is great but you don't have to go there.  Where in Asia are you? 

25 MAR 2010. 15:13

Q. Have you been to the Curve gallery at the Barbican? There's an exhibition with 40 zebra finches flying and landing on guitars. Beautiful music installation that you mustn't miss! Cornelius_Brixton Hill
A. I've heard about this. 

25 MAR 2010. 15:11

Q. we're VERY talented ... at the moment we do a lot of stencilling on canvas, lots of bright bold colours, love religious imagery, kinda pop art inspired ... we've had successful exhibitions in Dublin, now we need to get our work over to London but don't know where to start. Adrian + Shane xx
A. Send us an image and we'll have a look right now.

25 MAR 2010. 15:10

Q. What's your favorite section at Liberty's?
A. At Liberty's?  It used to be the fabric department.

25 MAR 2010. 15:08

Q. Which perfume you last bought?
A. I have a friend called Daphne Guinness.  She made a perfurm called Daphne and gave it to me.  It's my favorite. 

25 MAR 2010. 15:04

Q. Where did you go on holiday recently?
A. Los Angeles.  We went to the oscars with Grace Jones last week.  I like work and holiday mixed in so that then you're with the locals.  You're not just a tourist.

25 MAR 2010. 15:04

Q. Hat hair - any solutions?
A. Keep the hat on.  Why would you take it off?

25 MAR 2010. 15:00

Q. Is Stefan there with you?
A. Who's asking?

25 MAR 2010. 14:58

Q. What did you think of the hats Stefano Pilati presented for YSL's A/W 2010 collection? Do you like the "nun" look?
A. I haven't seen it.  But I love the nun look.  I like very catholic imagery. 

25 MAR 2010. 14:58

Q. what was the first hat that made you thought.....I wanna make hats?
A. Well, what happened is, I was a student, in Dublin at the National College of Art and Design and I had a tutor who I told I had a hat.  I had constructed this old thing out of straw and parts I bought from a junk shop and when I showed it to her she bought it.  So...I thought...there must be something in this.

25 MAR 2010. 14:58

Q. Have you ever been to "Lounge Lover"?
A. Yes.  It's great.  In the east-end?

25 MAR 2010. 14:58

Q. Goran and Vanja - both Croation.... great breeding!
A. Goran is Serbian.  Vanja is Croation.

25 MAR 2010. 14:57

Q. Isn't that the same technique you used for Sarah Jessica Parker?
A. You're right.  But they thought it was a pineapple.  

25 MAR 2010. 14:56

Q. Hey Philip! What would your advice be to aspiring designers? xoxo
A. Design!  Learn about what design means.  I didn't really understand what it meant for a really long time.  Get someone to explain what design means at a really early point in your career. 

25 MAR 2010. 14:52

Q. Hi Philip. Do you work mostly with feathers, or do you use other materials. If so, which is the most unconventional material you've used? Carlos, Chile.
A. I use every type of material; plastics, glass.  But I like materials that are weightless and light.  And I like high tech materials.  There are many new and modern materials that are exciting.

25 MAR 2010. 14:50

Q. Are the fruits on the table going on the hat?
A. They might.  That's a good idea.

25 MAR 2010. 14:49

Q. When you were young. did your parents support you in your design career?
A. They were a little bewildered when I was young because I started sowing was I was 7.  When I was at school there was time dedicated for boys to do something while the girls were sewing.  Both the teachers and my parents were bewildered.  But children have no inhibitions.

25 MAR 2010. 14:48

Q. Hi Philip, Im really enjoying the broadcast and 'Hi' to all in the studio. I think I may have sent a message already by accident! I have admired your designs for years.I am an architect breaking into the world of fashion and I am having my debut show in may on the 12th in the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin and I would love you to come. from Margot Cullen B.Arch
A. Thanks for the invitation. I am not planning on being in Dublin then but best of luck. 

25 MAR 2010. 14:48

Q. the queen?
A. Never made hats for the queen, but I've made hats for the future queen of England.

25 MAR 2010. 14:48

Q. Does Philip have any advice for two talented Irish boys who are dying to exhibit their work in London ... but have no contacts over there? :) Adrian + Shane xx
A. What kind of work do you do?  How talented is talented?

25 MAR 2010. 14:47

Q. did you ever design hats for dianna
A. Never did.

25 MAR 2010. 14:47

Q. What's your best Cafe in London?
A. Il Corriere right across from Victoria Coach station on Elizabeth street.  It's a real cafe.  Egg and chips are on offer there.

25 MAR 2010. 14:46

Q. When was the last time you went to the church and why?
A. In LA.  We went to the church on Sunday because I like it.  We go when we have the opportunity.

25 MAR 2010. 14:46

Q. wooo hooo thanks for that :) really enjoying this live stream ... will this be available to watch later? the sound keeps breaking up :( Adrian + Shane xx
A. yes. SHOWstudio will edit the footage so that you can watch it anytime.

25 MAR 2010. 14:45

Q. Your work is stunning. Where did you find your mannequin head? - A stylist in Boston, MA
A. I found it when I was a student in Ireland.  A friend of my brother's sold it to me.

25 MAR 2010. 14:45

Q. What do you just before you go to bed in the night?
A. I kiss the dog. 

25 MAR 2010. 14:42

Q. Hello Phillip (and everyone in the studio), I love your work, spent hours in Fortnum&Masons admiring until i get kindly bullied out. What would you recommend a young photographer who aspires to photograph your hats? Thank You
A. You can always contact me at my studio.  Our email at work is

25 MAR 2010. 14:42

Q. As a old blitz kid, how do you feel that they are trying to recreate the Blitz club at a new location
A. I am fascinated by the blitz.  Which blitz are you?

25 MAR 2010. 14:42

Q. Any comments on Tom Ford' A Single Man movie???
A. Sure it's beautiful.  Just like Tom but I haven't seen it.

25 MAR 2010. 14:41

Q. When working with natural materials like feather, how do you decide when to keep their natural shapes, when to shape them artificially?
A. Well you either leave it, if it looks good.  Or you cut it to show off the feature, to make it look better.  I love nature and if you can even make it look even better you are giving it a bit of Tim Burton.

25 MAR 2010. 14:41

Q. who is your assistant? a little trimming of hair. HE IS HOT!
A. Mr. Goran. He is not really my assistant.  We just hang out a lot.  And we are disciples of Grace Jones.  Mr. Goran is Grace Jones' assistant in actuality. And she only hires hot guys.

25 MAR 2010. 14:39

Q. The Galway Races are a major social event in Ireland with many women vying for the title of best hat ever year. Where do you feel the Irish women rank in the style stakes in comparison to their European counterparts? Sinead in Galway
A. Irish women are the most beautiful women in the world. 

25 MAR 2010. 14:37

Q. Mr. Treacy, I am a big fan of your work and am really enjoying watching you work live. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you so much for your generosity with a first time author by sharing your perspectives on fashion with me last year as worked on my first book. The book has since been released and thankfully well received here in the States, Canada and in the UK. I know your insights will inspire and inform readers for a long time to come. All my best, Jay Calderin
A. Thank you very much!

25 MAR 2010. 14:36

Q. Do you read the Fantastic Man magazine?
A. Nope. Don't know about it.

25 MAR 2010. 14:32


A. I was reading the Barak Obama book about the race/campaign to become president.  But then I lost the book and wasn't able to complete it.

25 MAR 2010. 14:31

Q. how do you handle rude clients? how do you handle demanding clients?
A. Well, I get to deal with the potentially difficult clients and everyone else deals with the nice ones.  I like to be very normal and honest with the customer and straightforward.  

25 MAR 2010. 14:30

Q. I see you are wearing a design you did for Umbro, are you going to develop into menswear
A. I'm not.

25 MAR 2010. 14:30

Q. Working as a creative, the administrative side of things tents to feel very boring and is always a nightmare to me. How did you deal with this in your earlier days?
A. I was very lucky that I didn't have to do that. My sister helped me in the very beginning and then I was in a situation where I was suported by a hat company and a gentleman named Bill Horseman took care of that sort of thing.

25 MAR 2010. 14:29

A. I love it.  Thursday Afternoon in particular.

25 MAR 2010. 14:25

Q. As we all sit here in awe watching you live at work, who would you most love to watch a live streaming of?
A. I would have to think about that..

25 MAR 2010. 14:24

Q. Out of all the hats you have designed for lady gaga what is your favourite?
A. I like her telephone hat. Its fun because its made form fabric, technically it was a bit of a nightmare, but it looked good, and it was funny being on her, when she was singing about a telephone!

25 MAR 2010. 14:23

Q. So he was dissing her when he mentioned the stetson. LOL :) Adrian + Shane
A. Of course not! I love Madonna.. I mean I love her music.

25 MAR 2010. 14:23

Q. Lovely to see you...lovely to hear you..Is there any one you haven't made a hat for yet who you would love to? From Katy England xxxxx
A. I love Katy England! I can't really think of anybody. The most exciting one recently was Elizabeth Taylor, that was a trip and a half. She was fascinating.

25 MAR 2010. 14:22

Q. Are there any designers you haven't worked with that you would love to? Claude Montana, maybe?
A. Yes. I would love to work with him but he doesn't design anymore.

25 MAR 2010. 14:21

Q. Please ask him about Madonna ... has he ever worked with/for her? if so, what was it like? Adrian + Shane

25 MAR 2010. 14:19

Q. Who's getting this hat that he's making now?
A. Would you like it?

25 MAR 2010. 14:17

Q. Hi Philip, We here at NCAD are looking on with interest and pride. Well done you. Anthony Hobbs , The Media dept.
A. hi anthony!  how are you?

25 MAR 2010. 14:15

Q. Do you do the diamante designs on `Boy Georges Hat or does George or Kevin finish them off ?
A. Kevin does them. Kevin, his brother customises them, and he designs them.

25 MAR 2010. 14:13

Q. Isn't this anonymous question-asking all a bit Blind Date for you?!
A. I am enjoying it so don't get cheeky!

25 MAR 2010. 14:12

Q. When you don't have SHOWstudio and us viewers pestering you, how do you like to work? Do you listen to music (if yes, what kind), have people around to talk to or you prefer the quiet?
A. I like very dreamy, techno, house music. Thats the best music to design to because its a visual kind of music. It is exciting.

25 MAR 2010. 14:11

Q. Does Philip remember meeting my mum Mitch in Carlise 3 years ago at Carlisle Tullie House, she has a photo taken with you and Isabella
A. Yes I do. We had a great time in Carlise. All the students made a performance for Isabella.

25 MAR 2010. 14:11

Q. How do you make / where do you get the white prongs that are helping the hat to sit on the head? Also, what do you think about using hat elastic? Helen, Surrey
A. I make them myself.  And I love hat elastic.  why not?  Anything that keeps it on is great.  Except one time I saw this women in America and she was wearing the hat elastic under her chin and I didn't know how to tell her that's not how you wear it. 

25 MAR 2010. 14:11

Q. Hi Philip and team, how was it working at Chanel?
A. Karl Lagerfeld is insane. A brilliant designer, he designed in a very causal way. It was really exciting to work at the House of Chanel, but he made it exciting.

25 MAR 2010. 14:10

Q. can i buy that hat right now?
A. It's not even finished yet! But you can submit your email address to the box on the right of this feed.

25 MAR 2010. 14:08

Q. I remember the Givenchy hat you made from a real stuffed hawk back in the nineties for that documentary. Was making a hat from a bird more difficult than making a hat from feathers?
A. It was easy because the bird was there, the bird did all the work. You work out how it is pliable

25 MAR 2010. 14:07

Q. Madonna wore a stetson for a short period in 2001, it was fashionable, she NEVER claimed to be a cowboy, it was a look.
A. All I am saying is, its not a great look! I'm not saying anything bad against Madonna!!

25 MAR 2010. 14:06

Q. Do you have a muse, or someone you think of when you're designing hats?
A. Isabella was my muse. So I think about her.

25 MAR 2010. 14:05Q. Bono wore a stetson, he ain't a cowboy! discuss.
It's not my favorite look. So sorry Bono!

25 MAR 2010. 14:00

Q. what is your favorite tim burton film? It's Ed wood right?
A. No, It's not. It is Sleepy Hollow, or this new Alice In Wonderland one.

25 MAR 2010. 13:59

Q. Are there any hats you despise? Not designers, more specific styles.
Stetsons, I hate them. Madonna in a Stetson, I hate that. It's so unauthentic. A.But i do love stetsons in texas on texans. Its like architecture, but not those tacky cheap ones.

25 MAR 2010. 13:58

Q. have you seen 'avatar' , what did you think?
A. I have not seen Avatar. I was going to watch it but somebody told me not to bother. I saw Alice in Wonderland instead!

25 MAR 2010. 13:58

Q. How do you feel when you have made the perfect hat?
A. You never make the perfect hat. there is always something that you could do better.

25 MAR 2010. 13:55

Q. Any tips, quotes or advice you believe in or live by?
A. Don't be jaded. Jaded is very very boring. Fashion college is full of lots of jaded students, well, they think they are jaded.

25 MAR 2010. 13:52

Q. Hello Phillip This is Emily Drake here ( I was your ribbon girl for your Umbro shoot a few years ago) would you recommend a hat or fascinator for someone with long hair?
A. I would recommend that ribbon! I would suggest working away and making that ribbon look like your wearing it out. I'm sure there are lots of hats you can wear.

25 MAR 2010. 13:52

Q. Who is Philip Treacy behind all the hat making? What makes you happy?
A. I am happy now, and I am making a hat. I am happiest when I am making a hat. Everything else is a nightmare.

25 MAR 2010. 13:49

Q. Do you work with all your clients on a one to one?
A. Not all of them, some of them.

25 MAR 2010. 13:47

Q. at the end, how did you detach the white hat base out from the wooden mold? i just have no clue!
A. I will do it for you later! I cut it open, at the back, I will show you.

25 MAR 2010. 13:47

Q. Do you have a clear idea of what each hat will look like when completed, or do you develop the idea as you're making?
A. I have no idea what i am doing right now. I just have a go, it could turn into anything.

25 MAR 2010. 13:47

Q. Do you have a favourite hat designer? I'm thinking past or present - Simone Mirman maybe, or even more contemporary names like Kirsten Woodward as examples.
A. Kirsten Woodward is a very good hat design.  Mr John is a good American hat design. 

25 MAR 2010. 13:45

Q. do you ever feel sometimes that you don't feel like creating hats anymore?
A. I do. But I love hats more than anything else. I have a job in a zillion. I am lucky to have this because i have an opportunity to influence how people see hats in the 21st century. The most interesting people wear hats, and they come to me! And its fun, one day Lady Gaga, then Prince Philips wife! or Posh. People trusting me to make something for a major moment in their life is amazing. And hats make people look good.

25 MAR 2010. 13:39

Q. Hi Philip, Sinead here from GALWAYnow Magazine in Ireland. Really enjoying teh ShowStudio. When can we expect to see you back in Galway again? Any plans for a show here?
A. I don't know.  And no.

25 MAR 2010. 13:39

Q. what makes a good head/face for a hat?
A. Be at ease with whats on your head is the trick. To walk around like you have something on your head and be self conscious is not great. People that look at you when you are wearing a hat are not laughing at you, they are envious.

25 MAR 2010. 13:38

Q. Hi Philip, Nick and Tina here. So nice to see you
A. I was thinking about you yesterday. I missed you two. tell adam I customised his camera in Crystals.

25 MAR 2010. 13:37

Q. What counts as a big head? Mine is 23 inches in circumference, which is pretty massive. No hats ever fit anyway.
A. Thats big enough, but Oprah's is even bigger!

25 MAR 2010. 13:36

Q. What did you do for Paddy's day Philip? x
A. I was at a leather fair in Bolognia. A real leather fair.

25 MAR 2010. 13:36

Q. Re. 'Roswell' - I remember seeing it on Fashion TV! It's not on youtube yet though.
A. Okay! I like that one too. Because the girls, when we do shows we don't rehearse anything, the models just do whatever comes into their head at that moment on the runway.

25 MAR 2010. 13:33

Q. Not a question, but tell Philip that David (Downton) is working in his studio and listening and watching him at the same time and that I'm on a deadline and he's slowing me down
A. I would like to slow you down even further. Do you have a picture of Isabella for the book?

25 MAR 2010. 13:33

Q. What do you think of Elsa Schiaparelli's shoe hat?
A. I liked it. I've seen that hat at the MET in New York. They had it hidden away downstairs.  It's a famous hat.

25 MAR 2010. 13:33

Q. Nick Kirkwood worked for you many moons ago during his time at A.Cordwainers. Do you think he could of had a career in millinery?
Better for him that he has a career in shoes.  he makes beautiful shoes.

25 MAR 2010. 13:31

Q. You've created hundreds and hundreds of hats, but haven't actually staged a huge number of shows of your own. Bearing that in mind, do you have a favourite Philip Treacy fashion show? I loved the 1998 'Roswell' show, but that's just my opinion.
A. Where have you seen that show?

25 MAR 2010. 13:28

Q. Do you think hat fits modern environment? How?
A. That is the most stupid question I have heard all day! I would not be here if it did not.

25 MAR 2010. 13:28

Q. from Dublin...just graduated and wanted to know if you think it is necessary to leave Ireland to make a career in Fashion. And if so London, Paris, New York or Finglas??
A. I think its probably a good idea to think about leaving. It has a fashion industry but its small. New York, or Milan- if you speak Milan, it's a little fierce. Working in Paris is like being in a movie. The devotion and deadly serious. London is very good because you don't have to be part of anybody's gang or clique.

25 MAR 2010. 13:28

Q. do you mind sharing your recipe of glue with us?
A. I buy it from the glue shop. I don't make it, its called Straw stiffener, if you email she will give you the address of where we buy it.

25 MAR 2010. 13:25

Q. What is the weirdest thing you've put on a hat?
A. Dustbin lids for Alexander McQueen.

25 MAR 2010. 13:21

Q. What is your take on the definition of 'luxury'?
A. Luxury is time. Having time to make this hat. It should be exclusive, Mac Donalds is not luxury, and there are many fashion labels operating like Mac Donalds.

25 MAR 2010. 13:18

Q. Considering your views on X Factor etc etc, do you have anything to say about your fellow countrymen Jedward?
A. I love them. At least they are entertaining.

25 MAR 2010. 13:17

Q. Are there any young hat designers that you rate? Or any that you hate? One of each would be nice.
A. No. I don't want to be negative. Victoria Brown is very good. I'm not impressed with designers who copy or make bad hats. There is nothing worse than a bad hat.

25 MAR 2010. 13:14

Q. hi! im from the philippines. have you been here?
A. Yes! I love the Philippines! The Philippines is so beautiful.

25 MAR 2010. 13:12

Q. A few fashion icons started their careers with hat-making - some top-of-mind examples are Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin. Have you ever thought of giving clothing design a shot?
A. Not on your life! No! I have lots of friends who make clothes and they are tortured by it! I like clothes though, I like fashion.

25 MAR 2010. 13:10

Q. Would you ever show on the Paris couture schedule again? I know you did it for three seasons, but would you like to do it again?
A. Yes, I would love to. But I would like to do it in London really.

25 MAR 2010. 13:05

Q. Obviously you like Andy Warhol very much. What makes you like him?
A. I love Andy Warhol. I have a friend called Lisa, and she introduced me to Andy Warhol in the Library. But I don't have any unfortunately.

25 MAR 2010. 13:03

Q. Hello from Taipei, Taiwan, what's the most important element during your creation, besides the materials for making a hat?
Wishing I was in Taiwan, what are you doing in Taiwan?
A. My hands! Otherwise it's not going to happen!

25 MAR 2010. 13:03

Q. PLEASE can you ask where I can buy Sparterie!! Many Thanks
A. Look it up on the internet!

25 MAR 2010. 12:54

Q. are you obsessed with tools

A. No!

25 MAR 2010. 12:53

Q. I have rented your book 'when philip met isabella' from the college library many times, its gorgeous. Isabella seemed to believe in you even when you were a student. Im a textile design student and crave to make hats, do you think studying fashion/ millinery is essential to get you into the industry? do you think the way to get into industry has changed since you left college?
A. No you don't have to go to college, but it helps if you do. Today, fashion has changed because everybody is a designer. So everybody wants to be a designer which is good, but they are not all that great! But I do like the idea that anyone can have a go.

25 MAR 2010. 12:51

Q. What was your relationship with Isabella Blow? What role did she play in your career?
A. She was my best friend, great friend. She was the funniest person I have ever met. Most fashion people are uptight about how important they are. She was hilarious, highly cultured, exquisite taste and very encouraging to me, to Alexander McQueen, she invented our careers. We were a double act, I made the hats and she wore them.

25 MAR 2010. 12:51

Q. Hello Philip! I may have missed you talking about this already, but where do you find / buy all of your beautiful feathers?
A. From lots of diff places. I collect them from wherever I go. The ostrich in London or google Dan gaffe, he is a supplier.

25 MAR 2010. 12:48

Q. Copying is the best form of compliment. Don't you think?
A. I do not think...I completely disagree. Get your own idea!

25 MAR 2010. 12:44

Q. Yourself and Steven Jones are two of the worlds leading milliners, are you both fiercely competitive?
A. No, because he does his thing and I do mine, he has his way of working and i have mine. It is better to have lots of hat designers than none. But I do not find it flattering when people copy my hats, all the manufacturers copy my hats. You spend a lot of time and energy and money making something, and somebody comes along and says 'Oh, I like that!'

25 MAR 2010. 12:38

Q. what's the first designer piece that you purchase ?
A. A red Claude Montana Jacket

25 MAR 2010. 12:38

Q. Do you know how many hats you've made in your life? What's the hat that stuck with you the most?
A. I have no Idea. The one I am making right now is always the hat that sticks with me the most.

25 MAR 2010. 12:36

Q. My head is massive and I can never find a hat I like that fits. Do you design with head sizes in mind? That head on the table looks awfully small.
A. Most people with a long head think they have a big head, but it's just a long head.

25 MAR 2010. 12:35

Q. Hi from Hong Kong! Chinese don't wear hats so often, and normally we don't look very good with western hats anyway. Do you think there are specific styles of hats which may look good on Asian?
A. That is completely wrong, hats have been in Chinese culture for thousands of years. Last time I was in China i saw the most huge fantastic hat, being worn by the road sweeper. There are lots of hats that look good on Asians, hats are a massive part of Asian culture.

25 MAR 2010. 12:24

Q. Are you free tonight?
A. I'm not free tonight! I am making a hat tonight!

25 MAR 2010. 12:18

Q. I missed the first part of the workshop, is the white blocked shape constructed from Buckram - and is this the equivalent of 'Sparterie'?
A. It is sparterie. Not the equivalent.

25 MAR 2010. 12:13

Q. are there any books you would recommend to someone who wanna learn hat making? THANKS!
A. It's very hard to learn hat making from a book, it's like learning to drive from a book. But there must be lots of books..

25 MAR 2010. 12:12

Q. when did you realise you want to work in fashion and what is your first fashion moment?
A. Weddings. Everyone just looked so amazing, like a couture show to a child. But in terms of my first major fashion moment was designing for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, and seeing Linda wearing this bird cage that I had made, that was pretty exciting.

25 MAR 2010. 11:56

Q. Do you enjoy creating it with your hands as much as inventing it in your head? Do you separate those processes?
A. the best bit is making the hat.  that's the most exciting part.  the physicality of making is the exciting bit.

25 MAR 2010. 11:56

Q. What is the inspiration behind your headpiece today? or is it just a creative process that develops as it goes along?
A. a bit of both really.  today, I am making a bit of a feather salad. it's like cooking with different materials. 

25 MAR 2010. 11:53

Q. Is the months leading up to Royal Ascot a busy time of year for you?
A. What do you think?  It's like Christmas for us.

25 MAR 2010. 11:51

Q. Hello Philip, When you were at school, your teacher let you join in with the girls sewing activity. If she had not, and you were forced to do woodwork, do you think this would have stopped you? What would you have decided to do if you had to change direction? Imogen
A. Of course not. You can't stop creativity.

25 MAR 2010. 11:44

Q. Do you take the same approch to mens hats as you do with womens. Also is the mens market in hats very big
A. Mens market and women's market is completely different. There is nothing more ridiculous as a man in a feminine hat, but there is nothing more sexy than a woman in a mans hat. Lots of men are wearing hats now, and girls look good in mens hats as well.

25 MAR 2010. 11:20

Q. What are the most fun materials to work with? the most difficult?
A. Feathers.

25 MAR 2010. 11:13

Q. How did you come about working with lady gaga?
A. I was afraid of Lady Gaga, because she reminded me very much of my freind Isabella who had died. When I would see a picture of her I would think it was Isabella. Then Alexander McQueen called me and told me that I had to work with her. She wanted the same hat in three different colours, and I did not have time to make three. But she wore it, and did not take it off for an entire night, so I thought that she was a dedicated follower of fashion. She is young, and very talented. She is fun and she looks great in hats.

25 MAR 2010. 11:11

Q. You say that making a hat is a bit like cooking. What sort of dish is your hat going to be?
A. Feather Salad

25 MAR 2010. 11:03

Q. Hello from Galway! How was the experience of designing for the G Hotel, and are you doing any interiors in the near future?
A. It was the most exciting experience doing the interior of the G. And also, it's great that everyone still likes it and goes there!

Film Edit:
Design Assistance:
Goran Lazarevic-Ilicic



LiveStudio: Stephen Jones

01 July 2011
Watch Stephen Jones at work on his playful Christmas headpieces, answering questions from SHOWstudio viewers.

LiveStudio: Mary Katrantzou

06 December 2010
Designer Mary Katrantzou demonstrated her creative process (and flower arranging skills) live in our studio.

LiveStudio: Judy Blame

14 June 2011
Watch Judy Blame at work on his trademark bricolage accessories live on camera in our studio space.
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