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When Phillip Met Isabella

Past Exhibition
06 Oct 2007 – 03 Feb 2008
Free

Isabella Blow in Phillip Treacy's Devil Paradise Feathers. Photo: Steven Meisel 1993

Isabella Blow in Phillip Treacy's Devil Paradise Feathers. Photo: Steven Meisel 1993

When Philip Met Isabella showcases 32 stunning avant-garde hats made by the world’s most adventurous milliner Philip Treacy for his friend and muse, the late style-icon, Isabella Blow.

Since their first meeting on a fashion shoot in 1989 when Treacy was a student at the Royal College of Art in London, Blow became his staunchest supporter and a constant source of inspiration. Many of his most surreal and sculptural hats were made for her. “Issy never said: ‘You’ve gone too far,’” says Treacy. “She always said: ‘You haven’t gone far enough.’”

Developed and toured by the Design Museum London, this exhibition celebrates their collaboration over twenty years. The wonderful array of hats range from The Ship, an astonishingly realistic replica of an 18th century French ship with full rigging made from miniature buttons, to the rose pink damask Pope modelled on the papal hat. Then there is the Birds of a Feather hat, made from gilded eagle quills that Isabella wore perched on her head with an accompanying ball and chain. The enchanting Arrows of Love hat is part hat, part mask, and with its moulded pink form framing Isabella’s face, it truly transformed her from elegant party guest to a living, breathing work of art.

Developed and toured by the Design Museum, London. http://www.designmuseum.org/