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Designer Philip Treacy British
Couture Line Philip Treacy British

Not on view

This headpiece by Philip Treacy epitomizes the milliner’s untethered and imaginative approach to design. A swarm of butterflies is assembled from exquisitely worked turkey feathers that were cut, painted, and hand-fashioned into delicate, fluttering forms. Butterflies are one of the most potent symbols of collecting. Rooted in taxidermic systems yet resplendent with poetry, the insect occupies a prominent spot in most European Wunderkammern, or cabinets of curiosities. Because of its transformative nature, the butterfly has inspired infinite metaphor, and within the realm of fashion the analogy has particularly flourished. It easily applies to the accessories designed by Treacy, which invariably hold the potential for dramatic metamorphosis.

Hat, Philip Treacy (British, born Ireland, 1966), straw, feathers, British

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© 2019 Nicholas Alan Cope