It is 13 years since Treacy last staged a show in London, although rarely a week passes without one of his hats making a front page somewhere in the world. Princess Beatrice wore one to the royal wedding; Grace Jones wears them on stage.
Lady Gaga wearing a fuschia-pink cape took a walk on the catwalk to announce the commencement of a show by “the greatest milliner of all time”. She was followed by an all-black cast of models wearing outfits from the archive of Michael Jackson, a wardrobe of tiny-waisted stage designs which included the Thriller jacket. The show will be the only UK appearance of the clothes, before they are auctioned in LA in December. Treacy first met the auctioneers who leant the clothes when he visited their archive with his late muse, Isabella Blow, to buy Marilyn Monroe’s false eyelashes.
This was fashion’s most glamorous Halloween party. The catwalk brought to life the ghost of the late king of pop, while the front row, packed to bursting with friends, lovers and family of Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen, another longtime Treacy collaborator, was full of ghosts of British fashion past. Guests in elaborate hats and luxurious veils sipped cocktails through straws.
Before the show, the milliner described the event to the International Herald Tribune as “the most exciting show I have ever done”, adding that “Michael Jackson did better than anyone the sense of the extraordinary”. Hats included a miniature fairground, with working carousel, modelled on the Neverland ranch, and a pale sequinned glove which rested, spookily lifelike, above the immaculate profile of a catwalk model.