The clothes line
Within two years of leaving college, Philip Treacy had become an internationally renowned milliner, designing hats to complement collections by the likes of Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Rifat Ozbek. Since putting his own name on the label of his hats in 1993, Treacy hats have been worn by supermodels - who clamour to model in his shows - royalty, and those with enough individuality and aplomb to carry off plumes of ostrich feathers, a hot pink turban or perhaps even a gold lace cowboy hat.

Having the spare cash always helps, of course: prices for ready-to-wear hats start at pounds 200, and couture hats (left) can cost anything between pounds 400 and pounds 750.

Do not despair, however; the prospect of owning a Philip Treacy hat is within your reach. He has been designing a more affordable range of hats exclusively for Debenhams for two years. The one pictured above right is pounds 85, and incorporates Treacy's favourite method of adorning hats - elegant black feathers. It is available at selected Debenhams stores nationwide.

If you are buying a hat this season, the mantra to repeat over and over again is: "It must be decadent, elegant, and wearable." Oh, and don't forget to wear eyeshadow, or your face will disappear behind the brim.