A look at any issue of Vogue from the 1950s makes it quite clear that hats were once essential accoutrements for any elegant woman. What a shame that modern fashion, in its obsession with efficiency and utilitarianism, has all but done away with these time-honored instruments of seduction. Enter Philip Treacy. With outstanding technique and originality, the Irish milliner is keeping his delicate craft alive and well, creating pieces that are nothing less than modern sculptures.

Using extraordinary fabrics and embellishments such as black pearls from Tahiti, Asprey & Garrard diamonds and Yokohama chicken feathers, Treacy created perfect complements for the gowns that he borrowed from such designers as Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Olivier Theyskens. There were various plumed masterpieces of balance, an eye mask with curled feathers reminiscent of the Carnival of Venice, and an optical spiral ideal for an impromptu hypnosis session. A silver half-moon was elegantly poised on Erin O'Connor's forehead, a mantilla was crafted out of holographic lace, and a surrealist arrangement of feathers spelled out the word "Hat."

"When a woman wears a hat, she feels like a million dollars," said Treacy after the show. "Hats are power."