How I Made My Hattember Entry
As a budding milliner, I’m always looking for new opportunities to be creative, to challenge myself and to make new pieces. That’s why I jumped at the chance to enter the 2020 Hattember Competition.
We were given three materials and told to create a hat, headpiece or fascinator. We were also able to choose three other materials in order to make an innovative, wearable design.
I received my three materials – an ivory coloured straw parasisal hood to use as the foundation of the piece, some ivory Petersham ribbon for head fitting, trimming and edging, and a piece of gold and ivory braid.
Here’s how I made my entry in accordance with the competition criteria (originality, wearability, quality workmanship and use of provided and additional materials).
First, I blocked the parasisal hood into a crown shape. As flowers are a signature motif of Nico Millinery designs, I crafted a large, delicate flower embellished with a pearl button. For added flair, I created a striking golden twirl from leather and the Petersham. All the Hattember entries were exquisite and unique and I was pleased to see my entry stood out against the others.
The finished product sat comfortably and easily on the wearer’s head, and was designed to suit a range of hairstyles such as a low bun or loose waves. The neutral colours were chosen (soft creams with a splash of gold) to suit most race wear. This style of headpiece could also be worn instead of a veil for a new bride, or to a fancy wedding as a guest.
A project such as this should not be rushed so I took my time slowly developing and refining my headpiece over several days. In total, it would have taken me approximately 8 hours to make. Everything was carefully hand-sewn to ensure attention to detail and expert craftsmanship.
Use of provided and additional materials
I decided to add more gold to complement the gold and cream materials provided, so I chose gold silk abaca and a pearl button for my statement flower. I used gold leather to make the ornate twirl. These colours and feature added a simple elegance to the overall piece; eye-catching without being loud or over-stated.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the choice of the winning entries was performed online. While I didn’t win any of the major categories this year, it was wonderful to see all the other creations. Everyone used the materials in unique ways and created a variety of different looks.
The Hattember Competition is a great initiative and a fabulous way to learn more about the art of millinery and to make something I might otherwise not have thought to do. While there is an entry fee, the competition raises funds for the John Skipper Kelly Fund. The entry fee also covered the cost of the materials.
Thank you to the organisers of Hattember for allowing aspiring milliners the opportunity to be creative and showcase their work. I look forward to entering the competition again next year.
If you’d like to purchase my Hattember creation, please contact me directly.
Can hardly wait for the upcoming Millinery Summer School in Melbourne with Waltraud Reiner from Hatmobile that I will be attending to learn more about my craft. This should provide me with some fantastic new ideas and techniques as well as allowing the opportunity to meet more fellow milliners which is always good for additional motivation.
Looking forward to Derby Day on the 2nd of November at Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane with my friend Sara who will be wearing a white boater with black trim and flowers. My hat will be a rustic wide-brimmed black boater which I am excited to be unveiling.
Nico Millinery will be showcasing at the Carnival Milliners’ Market on the 10th of April at Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane with other milliners from around Queensland. This should be a great night and there are sure to be plenty of outstanding fascinators, boaters and other hats on display which I can’t wait to see. If you have the opportunity to attend then I would recommend it.