From Hatter to Hotelier: The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Philip Treacy

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The cover of the March-April issue of Luxury SpaFinder magazine (alas, not online) has a real Elle Decor vibe, featuring Shannon Greer‘s shot of a fuschia-walled sitting room with Louis XVI-style chairs upholstered in Warholian camouflage atop a hypnotic hand-woven carpet that would make even Bridget Riley go cross-eyed. It is the “Pink Salon” of the g hotel, so named for its improbable location: Galway, Ireland. The hotel’s design director is Galway native Philip Treacy, who apparently wears many hats in addition to his primary one, as the world’s best-known milliner.

Luxury SpaFinder is focused on the, well, luxury-spa angle (the hot stone Balinese massage doesn’t skimp on the oil; they serve house-made lavender fondant candies) but also does an admirable job of sizing up the surroundings, designed by Treacy in collaboration with Irish architects and designers Douglas Wallace:

Treacy assembled an impressive collection of vintage fashion photography that includes Irving Penn‘s image of Jean Patchett, a Cecil Beaton shot of Marilyn Monroe, and a Patrick Demarchelier photo of supermodel Linda Evangelista. The art also helps deflect attention from the location. While the g, technically speaking, overlooks Lough Atlalia, it’s separated from the placid lake by a busy highway, and the view from the dining room is of a Statoil filling station. But the hotel triumphs over its less-than-stellar location (15 minutes from downtown) by turning all attention inward.

And we’d challenge any guest to turn away from the Tom Dixon lighting installation that resembles a bouquet of silver Christmas ornaments or the mirrors shaped to resemble the chapeau Treacy designed for Camilla Parker Bowles to wear at her wedding to Prince Charles. Our favorite surprise is revealed on Treacy’s website: the distinctive swirls (pictured above, at right) that translate suprisingly well from headwear to door handles.

UPDATE (6:30pm): So there’s a good reason that the March-April issue of Luxury SpaFinder is not online. The print publication is folding, FishbowlNY reported this evening. Was it something we said?