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Page 3 Profile: Philip Treacy, Milliner


Just don’t mention “the bagel”…

You mean that fascinator worn by Princess Beatrice at the royal wedding in 2011? Actually, hat-designer extraordinaire Philip Treacy stands by his patisserie-dubbed creation, recently saying: “I loved that hat.” But now he’s set to use his talents in a slightly different vein.

The cronut?

No. In fact, it has just been announced that the fashion icon will style the famous Brit statue for 2014’s awards in February. He takes the baton from the artist Damien Hirst, who designed this year’s Britannia award, replete with his trademark coloured spots.

Sounds like rather a good gig.

That all depends on how Treacy’s offering is received. This is the fourth year that the trophy has been offered up as a “blank canvas” to designers, but the reaction to Hirst’s creation was mixed, with critics slating it for being too simple and lacking imagination. Until now, the 46-year-old has given little away, but has said his inspiration for the statue (revealed here) comes from “a uniquely British genre of music, punk”.

The announcement is bound to go down well with music royalty, though.

Treacy is certainly popular in the industry, having worked with the likes of Madonna, Grace Jones, Paloma Faith, Cher, Cheryl Cole, Jamiroquai, and Boy George. He’s also the go-to milliner for the actual royals, too, designing a total of 36 hats for Kate and William’s wedding, and the Duchess of Cornwall is a particularly avid devotee.

So what can we expect on the night?

Winning a Brit Award has become synonymous with controversial acceptance speeches over the years. In 1997, the Spice Girls’ Mel C responded to a threat from Liam Gallagher that he wouldn’t attend that year’s event because he would be tempted to “smack” a Spice Girl. Sporty piped up: “Liam, come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.” Then, in 2000, a drunken Brandon Block bulldozed his way on to the stage during Ronnie Wood’s acceptance speech. Whatever happens, Treacy’s year is likely to be a memorable one.