Hat’s quite a look for some iconic statues at Fringe Festival

by Rachel Darcy

Some of Dublin’s best-known statues are getting all dressed up for a night on the town as part of this year’s Dublin Fringe festival.

Acclaimed milliner Margaret O’Connor has brought her haute couture hats to the streets of the city, specially designed to adorn the heads of some of the city’s most recognisable icons.

O’Connor has previously trained with esteemed milliner to the stars Phillip Tracey, and her designs have been worn by the likes of Lady Gaga.

Nine statues across the city are wearing hats designed by O’Connor to perfectly capture the stories of their wearer and their historic backgrounds.

Figures were selected to encourage people to look twice at statues that they may pass without a second thought on their daily commute through the city, or to draw their eye to new figures that people may not previously have paid much attention to.

The project is entitled Spitfire Bird, with the Instagram hashtag #spitfirebird already filling up with people’s snaps of the hats and their wearers across Dublin.

Amongst the figures who’ll be adorned until Sunday are Daniel O’Connell at Lower O’Connell Street, the maiden of Dublin herself Molly Malone, and one of Ireland’s finest literary sons, Oscar Wilde.

Wilde’s ‘gay pride’ hat is covered in rainbows, to celebrate individuality, whereas Malone’s hat features an oversized bonnet decorated with a fringe, to represent the Fringe Festival.

Countess Markievicz also got the hat treatment, though her bright pink and white gun-patterned bonnet is being kept at the Dublin Fringe Festival Box Office in Temple Bar for safe keeping.

O’Connor said: “Doing this project was totally taking myself out of my depth and the support from my family, friends, the Dublin fringe, Dublin City Council and The Little Irish Flower Farm has been amazing so much, I can’t put into words.”

Spitfire Bird is on display across the city until this Sunday, September 16.

To find a complete list of where you can spot O’Connor’s “decadent and mischievous” designs, as well as what other Fringe events are taking place, see fringefest.com.

Dublin Fringe runs until September 23.

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