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Philip Treacy - Biography

Princess Beatrice, Queen Camilla and more have been pictured wearing the milliner's hats

Philip Treacy in a tailcoat and top hat
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Philip Treacy's childhood

Irish milliner Philip Treacy has come a long way from his roots in the Galway village of Ahascragh, with its population of just 500. Born the second youngest of eight children to a baker and housewife on May 26, 1967, Philip studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin before moving to London to attend the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. 

There he specialised in hat design, fashioning his first efforts from bits and pieces picked up in local flea markets. His graduation show in 1991 caused a fashion sensation, and it wasn't long before his innovative and outrageous confections caught the attention of some of the world's leading fashion designers. 

RELATED: The 10 most stylish Royal Ascot hats of all time

Philip Treacy's career

His sculptured headgear was soon topping off catwalk creations by the likes of Chanel, Valentino, Versace and Rifat Ozbek. That year the young designer established his own company, Philip Treacy Ltd, and went on to win the title of Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 1991, 1992 and 1993, and then again in 1996 and 1997. When, in 2000, he was invited by the Chambre Syndicale, the governing body of French fashion, to participate in the Paris haute couture shows, he became the first millinery designer to do so in 70 years. 

He has designed signature, one-off pieces for clients such as Madonna, Celine Dion, Joan Collins and Goldie Hawn - which bear a price tag of £1,000 upwards - as well as hats for royals such as Princess Beatrice, Princess Kate and Queen Camilla. In fact, Philip was responsible for creating Camilla's gold wedding headpiece when she married King Charles in 2005. 

His designs for the Chanel show in 1998 featured demure little cloche-style efforts with outsize Sixties daisies, but he is best known for his enormous, gravity-defying sculptures. Treacy's work has moved beyond the bounds of mere headwear, earning itself display space at both London's V&A and the Met in New York.

Philip Treacy's husband

Philip married his long-term partner of over 21 years, Stefan Bartlett, in Las Vegas in May 2017 before celebrating at a Cher concert at the Monte Carlo Resort. They reportedly kept their outfits casual for the occasion, with Philip wearing a blue blazer and Stefan opting for a khaki jacket with gold buttons as they posed with Cher.

LOOK: 18 wild royal wedding hats: Zara Tindall, Princess Eugenie and more

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