Philip Treacy, milliner who’s designed for the Royal family of Britain, Lady Gaga and a number of other Hollywood stars, was in Mumbai recently as part of the Royal Polo gala. The designer showcased a fashion show at the Taj Lands End hotel which was held to celebrate the British Polo day which is taking place at The Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur till Sunday.
When asked if he felt hats have a market today, Philip says, "It’s very strange that you’re Indian and asking me this question, as your country is a land of turbans and other headgear. We live in a world of culture and every culture has a history of hats, but I am the 21st century version of hat designers and it may seem unusual but its totally normal. People have decorated their heads since the beginning of time and it will stay that way. I’m just helping the situation."
The designer’s recent collection at the London Fashion Week featured singer Lady Gaga walking the ramp. "I love her. The thing is celebrities can be a bit of a nightmare but Gaga is very nice. In fact, I’m making a movie with her at the moment. She has introduced hats to the youth culture. She wears hats, so 10-year-olds today are now looking at hats in a different way because of her," he says with a smile.
"I’m only interested in people wearing hats, as for buying them I couldn’t care less as long as they’re being worn, I’m happy," he adds.
Talking about designing for the Royal family, Philip says he’s a great admirer. "They’ve kept hats alive in the imagination of people around the world and if they didn’t wear hats, I’m not sure I’d be sitting here right now (laughs)." He adds, "Hats don’t have to be practical, it’s more about beauty and elegance. The Indian culture understands hats, it’s just that they don’t think they do. Everything in India inspires me. It has the most wonderful people and they have a culture of hats. So I’m in hat heaven."