Hat maker for queen of pop Lady Gaga, Philip Treacy has revealed why London is one of his favourite places in the world.
The Ahascragh artist remembers arriving in the city for the first time as a teenager and being totally enthused.
“Arriving by coach from Ireland aged 16 and being blown away by the grandeur,” the Galway milliner said. “I thought I had gone to heaven.”
The hat-maker, who is a favourite of stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna and the British Royal family, has also revealed that his Princess Beatrice bow-shaped creation for last year’s Royal Wedding is his ”most favourite ever”.
The hat caused a media storm as critics and fans alike rushed to give their opinion on the unusual piece.
”I genuinely set out to design a hat with a bow on it. It’s my most favourite hat ever,” Treacy told You magazine.
“It was complex in construction, but most importantly it got everyone talking about hats – good or bad. It’s even been immortalised as a cake by the Berkeley Hotel in London for its afternoon tea.”
Despite being a design favourite for some of the world’s biggest celebrities Treacy says he still gets star struck.
He recalls a meeting with the late Elizabeth Taylor at London’s Dorchester Hotel in 2007.
”I took 25 hats to show her and ended up giving them all to her,” he said. “As a thank you she sent me 100 violet roses, the colour of her eyes, and composed me a poem.
”But when she asked, ‘What else can I do for you?’ I asked if she would call my sister.”
He joked: “Can you imagine? My sister was doing the laundry at home and I phoned to say, ‘I have Elizabeth Taylor on the phone for you…”’
The milliner’s big break came after magazine editor Isabella Blow spotted ‘a Treacy’ when the designer was interning at department store Harrods.
“I love Harrods, they invented my career,” he said. “When I was a student at the Royal College of Art I won a hat competition and I started from there.”
Treacy is currently making hats for musician of the moment Lady Gaga, who he describes as a “sweetheart”.
“She understands that to get the best out of someone you have to let them do what they do,” he added.
But it seems fame and fortune hasn’t gone to the Irishman’s head – a simple egg and chips is still one of his favourite dishes.
“Il Corriere on Elizabeth Street does the best egg and chips in England and is run by Diana, who is a fantastic mix of Italian and Cockney,” he said.
“Kim Cattrall once asked where she should go for breakfast and I sent her there. Now she is a regular and the look on the workmen’s faces when they see her is priceless.”
Philip Treacy is the official milliner for the Investec Derby Festival 2012 at Epsom Downs Racecourse from June 1-2.