This purple straw hat topped with a bright orange upside-down bow is by Philip Treacy, perhaps England's most famous milliner. Since graduating from college in 1991, Treacy has dressed countless celebrities and members of royalty in his sculptural and sometimes outrageous headwear, including Boy George, Madonna, Victoria Beckham, and most recently Camilla Parker-Bowles on her wedding to the Prince of Wales (April 2005). His quirky designs often verge on the surreal: a recent collection of his hats and other accessories featured Andy Warhol prints of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. He is also influenced by millinery of the recent past, including 30s and 50s styles (see below).
Irish-born Philip Treacy attended the National college of Art and Design in Dublin before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Art. He concentrated on millinery, making his first hats from bits and pieces he found at flea markets and graduating in 1991 to tremendous aclaim. He now supplies many fashion houses like Chanel, Valentino, Versace and Rifat Ozbek for their catwalk shows. Treacy has also won Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards five times, and in 2000, he was the first milliner in 70 years to be recognised by the Chambre Syndicale, the governing body of Paris fashion.
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