As many of you wouldn’t know, I graduated from my course in Millinery Design and construction earlier this year. Coming from a fashion design background, when I moved to Melbourne from Brisbane I decided to focus in on millinery as hats have always been a constant love and fascination for me.
I studied at Melbourne Fashion Institute under Richard Nylon, who was such a charismatic and inspiring teacher. He is one of the most renown Australian milliners of this time and it was such a privilege to learn from him. A blessing in disguise perhaps, but honing my skills only made me realise again how much I only find happiness in vintage, collecting and history. Whilst I’m glad I’ve studied design, as it’s given me an understanding of all aspects of garment construction, fabrics and techniques, there really is nothing like those designs of yesteryear!
My ambition is to one day, in the not-too-distant future, own my own small vintage and antique retail space, and I guess that with my skills there’s nothing stopping me from pursuing my own designs in conjunction with that. But for now I really am focusing on submersing myself in history, learning and listening and reading and watching and nurturing the magpie inside me as I build up my nest!
Tonight I went through some of the pieces I made whilst studying. One of my hobbies is collecting vintage and antique portraits of women, and I was influenced by these whilst I was studying.
This is a hat I made as an assignment for Melbourne Cup. For those who don’t live in Australia, Melbourne Cup is the nation’s major horse racing event in November, where ‘Fashions On The Field’ plays a huge part. Basically no-one really watched the horses, everyone just gets reeeeeeal dressed up and drinks too much. A lot of the fashion is AWFUL (think spray tanned women in neon one-shoulder dresses, strappy silver stilettos flung over their shoulder) but it’s a huge event for milliners as hats are compulsory for women at the big race days. I struggled to design something as accessible as a Melbourne Cup race day hat, so decided to just go BIG and over the top (because that’s normally the theme for race day).
It’s made out of vintage straw, crown-less and hand stitched on a brim block, with gathered velvet trim and a dupion silk hand-made flower.
This is another piece I made, whilst experimenting with wiring.
It’s a 1920′s inspired velvet covered wire headpiece with vintage flowers and leaves.
In other news, I have some really exciting things to share with you all soon, and I’m positively bursting about it! This week has been full of opportunity and it looks like the next couple of months will be jam packed for me. My lips will have to stay sealed for now….but stay tuned!