Philip Treacy: A Man of Many Hats

With his new makeup collection for M.A.C., the milliner proves nature-inspired doesn’t always mean natural.


After so many years spent framing the face, designing instantly iconic hats and headpieces for celebrities, royals, and designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, and, of course, Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy had strong ideas about makeup—the type of collection he’d like to make, and the company with whom he would partner. “M.A.C. are, you know, the punks of the makeup world! They’re fearless,” he explains. “It’s transformative, makeup. You can be a different person, which is why there are similarities with outerwear.”

The resulting 12-item collection, out now, is inspired by a trio of the designer’s couture hats: An Art Deco-inspired 3D-printed piece that highlights the cheekbones; a pink and green spectator number that accentuates lips; and a black lace mask that calls attention to the eyes. And, in the way that Treacy’s hats make a woman who has never considered the eccentric accessory suddenly crave one, the dramatic blues and pinks in his M.A.C. line make a strong case for ditching the no makeup trend. “It’s a compliment when people wear makeup because they’re making an effort for you or the person,” he says, remembering how his mother applied red lipstick before leaving the house to shop. “It’s not like they’re wearing a shell suit.” To highlight the eyes, Treacy created metallic gold and silver Paint Pots; teal, royal blue, and flat black Fluidline eyeliners, and black False Lashes mascara. For the cheekbones, there are two highlighter palettes pressed into intricate Art Deco patterns; and for lips there are pink, magenta, and burgundy lipsticks. “I love all of these pinky tones, you know. They’re very Isabella Blow,” he notes, referencing his late friend and ardent supporter. And while the designer cites nature as inspiration for the colors, this by no means a collection for someone hoping to achieve a “natural” look. “Nature is a constant source of inspiration for us because it’s alive and it’s the ultimate in perfection,” he says. “It’s astonishing if you examine it and look at what’s appeared from thin air—and it’s perfect.”

Photos: Philip Treacy: A Man of Many Hats

Courtesy of the brand.

M.A.C. Philip Treacy 127 Split Fibre Face Brush, $35,

M.A.C. Philip Treacy Lipstick, $16 each,

M.A.C. Philip Treacy Pro Longwear Paint Pot, $21 each,

Courtesy of the brand.

M.A.C. Philip Treacy False Lashes Extreme Black, $22,

M.A.C. Philip Treacy Highlight Powder, $32 each,

M.A.C. Philip Treacy Fluidline, $16 each,

Courtesy of the brand.