“I love Christmas,” says Philip Treacy. “I spend time every day shopping for vintage decorations on eBay. I’ve got thousands.” So it was exceptionally fitting when Asprey asked the avant-garde milliner to design a unique gift for the festive season. His suggestion? A couture cracker.
Whenever Treacy envisions a creation, you know it will wind up being highly unconventional. The result in this case is a limited-edition silver beauty (£1,500). Each of the 80 crackers is tied with handmade bows and contains an engraved silver thimble, ribbon confetti and remarkable paper hat fabricated using rapid prototyping technology.
“There’s something sad about a cracker that you snap and out falls a bit of cheap tissue that doesn’t look good on anybody,” Treacy says. “This one is a collection of cascading hat boxes that work on a spring and turns three-dimensional. It pops up like magic.”
And just to heighten expectations further still, one of the crackers also includes a winning ticket entitling the lucky bearer to a bespoke work by the designer. “It’s a Willy Wonka moment,” he suggests slyly. “I’m giving away a couture hat, along with a private fitting at my studio.”
That should start the Christmas festivities with a bang.