Photographer Kevin Davies has released a behind-the-scenes documentary on daily life in one of the fashion world's most inventive ateliers. During formal visits from royals (Princess Anne) to fittings with supermodels (Naomi Campbell) and other celebrities (Lady Gaga, Grace Jones), the lively mood at a creatively cluttered London workshop is revealed in Philip Treacy by Kevin Davies, Phaidon, $60. A 20-year collaboration between the photographer and his favorite subject takes place as the milliner prepares for Ascot, Paris shows, museum exhibitions at the V&A, a royal wedding or two, and even a trip to the wilds of Connemara with his two pet Jack Russells.
Grace Jones on tour, 1998. A fitting at Jumeriah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge.
Kevin: “Grace ordered room service around 2 a.m. and everyone perked up.”
Philip: “She's a vampire, a legend, a classic Hollywood star; a delicious nightmare and sharp as razor blades.”
Naomi Campbell dressing for Ascot, 2002.
Kevin: “Philip did all the styling himself.”
Philip: “I'm a great fan of Naomi. She treats the world like it's such a small place—Tokyo one morning, Rio in the afternoon.”
Daphne Guinness, Amanda Harlech, Isabella Blow, Harpers & Queen shoot, 2002.
Kevin: “On the set I could see Philip standing in the shadows...suddenly, he rushed across the room, follow by his dog Mr. Pig, and adjusted the angle of Amanda's hat. It might have moved only a fraction, but I'm sure it made all the difference.”
Philip: “Isabella at a fashion shoot was like a ringleader at a circus, though never in a domineering way.”
On Dog's Bay, Connemara, 2005.
Kevin: “Philip had two Jack Russells for me to contend with, Archie and Harold—the beaches were a great place to take them for a walk....Philip and Stefan stopped quickly and took a picture of themselves. It was like a Kodak moment.”
Daphne Guinness, Italian Vogue shoot, 2008.
Philip: “Models are amazing women; they live their life on the road, traveling and staying in hotels—it can be a lonely lifestyle—but they're giving up everything for beauty and elegance....Hats are such an empowering force.”
Shane Mitchell is Travel + Leisure's special correspondent.