So for this new project I ended up being assaigned with Irish haute coture milliner Philip Tracey. I was given a suggestion by Phil that I needed to get inside his head, so I figured the best way to do that was through seeing what he said in interviews. I took a little searching and found two one by Lux Magazine and the other by the Telegraph. While his comments were sparing in these articles they did give me insight into his mind and his thought patterns in a way that I thought would definitely help. What I thought would help me was adding key responses to my sketchbook as a way of documenting them. The second page contains two lines from the Lux magazine article, the third page contains a line from an interview with The Telegraph.
Philip is currently one of the really big names in London fashion. And it's clear from his interviews that he absolutely loves his work. What might make this project a little tricky is, like all artists, he likes to pull out surprises with every exhibition. However his hats have a cirtain quirkyness to them, a whimsey that draws your attention and puts a smile on your face at the quite-often bizarre creations. He is fond of very organic shapes and natural inspirations. Growing up in Rural County Galway, Ireland, he loved plants and nature. Some of his designs directly invoke this such as a hat that looks like a giant orchid or a bunch of flowers. In the Telegraph, the interviewer mentioned a line written by artist Cedric Morris: “When I study flowers, I do not see prettiness. I see ruthlessness, lust, and lack of fear.” (Woodward, 2014).
Within this interview, Philip mentioned that he looked beyond the superficial beauty of all the flowers he used. His interests lay also in their structure and their arrangement. So with these first thumbnails I tried to narrow down the "essence" of what makes his hats so stark and personal, capable of being associated with him. I was incredibly lucky to come across a closing quote within the Lux interview where he described the Sydney Opera House as "my favourite hat in the world. It’s not a building, it’s a hat. It’s a symbol of Australia" (Davies, 2013). So I suppose one challenge is to decipher why he loves the Sydney Opera House (my current estimate is its to do with the concrete rooves).
One of the major issues may be that Tracey designs his hats to compliment the people wearing them. One of the quites I found was “When you meet somebody you meet their face not their foot, It is a very potent part of the body to decorate and embellish.” (Davies, 2013), which expresses that its the hat that compliments the wearer, so what I might end up doing is a city with facades that express what the building is, but that leaves the question of what the city itself is to have such buildings and how to compliment the architecture the same way Tracey designs hats to compliment the people intending to wear them.
- Davies, K.; 2013; Hats Off to the Preacher Man; Lux Magazine; published 19th APril 2013; http://lux-mag.com/2013/04/19/hats-off-to-the-preacher-man/ (LA. 28th October)
- Woodward, C.; 2014; Philip Treacy: How my flower hats bloossomed; The Telegraph; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/10741693/Philip-Treacy-how-my-flower-hats-blossomed.html (LA. 28th October)