Gaga steps out in milliner’s ‘spare’ hat

Gaga in ‘that’ hat with milliner Philip Treacy

By Shelley Marsden

A LONDON-BASED hat-maker from Clare has had one of her creations worn by pop star Lady Gaga, a stroke of luck that she hopes could be the making of her career.

Margaret O’Connor from Boston, Tubber, County Clare, was looking at a picture of the singer in a magazine when she recognised Gaga was wearing her own hat.

“She was photographed wearing it at the Isabella Blows exhibition in London, which she attended with Galway designer Treacy, who I did an internship with for a few months. I actually felt sick for two days afterwards, I was just totally overwhelmed”, said the 27 year old, who has a studio in Walthamstow, East London.

Margaret O’Connor

More surprising still, the ambitious young designer – who still works in the local pub at nights to make ends meet, had sent Gaga seven hats to try, six inspired by the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein. But it was the one she had included as an ‘afterthought’ that the Do What You Want singer chose.

The gregarious designer, who admitted it’s hard to get your name out there when funds are limited and you’re not a known name, said: “It was an extra hat I’d put in by mistake. I didn’t have a name for it, so I just called it ‘Marian’ after my mum. Isn’t that completely mad? It’s just the best thing that could have happened for me right now.”

Her PR – who was so enamoured with one of Margaret’s collections after seeing it by chance in a magazine that she offered her services free of charge – had sent Gaga’s personal stylist some photos of Margaret’s hats, and heard back almost immediately that the singer wanted seven of them.

Another Margaret O’Connor design

That she appeared on the arm of Philip Treacy, who has made headpieces for the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker as well as Gaga (he was behind the telephone-shaped headpiece with removable handset she wore on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross in 2010), is a source of excitement for Margaret.

For the full story, see the current bumper-issue of the Irish World (issue 21 & 28 Dec 2013).

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