Main content

Philip Treacy

Kirsty Young interviews Philip Treacy, one of the most prolific and acclaimed hat designers working in the UK.

Philip Treacy is one of the most prolific and acclaimed hat designers working in the UK.

His work was very much in evidence at this year's Royal Wedding and at Royal Ascot. Meghan Markle wore one of his designs for her first official public engagement as the Duchess of Sussex. Other notable clients include Madonna, Tina Turner, Grace Jones, who has showcased his creations on and off stage, and Lady Gaga, for whom he made a black telephone hat.

Originally from Ahascragh, a small village in County Galway, Ireland, Philip learned to sew when he was six years old. He grew up opposite a church and he recalls how, as a young boy, he would go to all the weddings, uninvited, to look at the clothes and in particular the wedding dresses.

He went on to study fashion at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and then won a place on the MA fashion design course at the Royal College of Art in London, graduating in 1990 with first class honours. He enjoyed a meteoric rise to success when fashion stylist Isabella Blow saw his student hat collection. She introduced him to Karl Lagerfeld, who quickly invited him to design hats for Chanel Couture when he was still in his early twenties.

He has won the title of British Accessory Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards on five occasions, and was awarded an honorary OBE for services to the British fashion industry in 2007.

Presenter Kirsty Young
Producer Sarah Taylor.

Available now

42 minutes

Last on

Fri 13 Jul 2018 09:00

Music Played

  • Angelic & Daz Bailey

    It's My Turn 2009 (Daz Bailey Radio Edit)

    • It's My Turn 2009.
    • ARVAS.
    • 1.
  • Michael Jackson & Andrea Crouch Singers

    Will You Be There

    • The Essential Michael Jackson.
    • Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd.
    • 13.
  • Andy Williams

    Danny Boy

    • The Essential Andy Williams.
    • Columbia/Legacy.
    • 3.
  • Culture Club

    Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

    • Kissing To Be Clever.
    • Virgin.
    • 9.
  • Roxy Music


    • Avalon.
    • Virgin Records Ltd.
    • 3.
  • Grace Jones

    Walking In The Rain

    • Nightclubbing (Deluxe Edition).
    • Universal.
    • 1.

    • Kate Bush

      Oh To Be In Love

      • The Kick Inside.
      • EMI Records Limited.
      • 9.
  • Joni Mitchell

    Both Sides Now

    • Both Sides Now.
    • Warner Music UK Limited.
    • 12.

    An encyclopedia of shells


    A tailor’s thimble


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Philip Treacy
Producer Sarah Taylor


  • Sun 8 Jul 2018 11:15
  • Fri 13 Jul 2018 09:00

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes



Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?