It was after a few beers with my brother, Billy, when the idea came to me. We often have a yarn and a few ales over the phone – living on opposite sides of the Country, it’s how we keep in touch. This particular time he’d mentioned a woman he met who was working with Sydney’s Mardi Gras. She’d been surprised to hear I was a milliner in Broome, and looked up my instagram.
That was pretty much the conversation – but in my sleep – my never resting, always busy sub-conscious mind came up with a plan, and the next morning I awoke with huge excitement; – I was going to create millinery for Broome’s Mardi Gras – I was going to become the Milliner to the Queens.
Busting to tell my house guest at the time, Margaret, I followed her around the kitchen, as she was still wiping the sleep from her eyes, blurting my Mardi Gras plan that Hats by Felicity would create for rural and regional women, AND Queens.
I was designing creations that day for a few little here I am pieces to enter the industry. I was SO pumped to have realised another outlet for my creative trade. With the demise of race-wear millinery due to covid, I had pivoted into bridal, launching my bridal collection in January, and now it was time to start creating for Mardi Gras.
Previously, when I created for the runway of New York Fashion Week, I was in my absolute creative element, but until now, I hadn’t realised a market for these elaborate creations. I was back in the creative zone that I had experienced for my international shows.
Hats by Felicity – New York Fashion Week SS2017
In it’s 7th year, the Broome Mardi Gras is a week of events bringing our little town together and alive, in what prior to Mardi Gras, was a terribly oppressive time of the year.
The heat is still here, don’t get me wrong, but now it’s lathered by glitter.
Broome is blooming in February, – our hotels are filling as the week unveils, the restaurants are booking, the positive economic impact is nothing short of invigorating – there’s literally dozens of events, from story time with children, to makeup with teenagers and the Cabaret, the Dance party, the pool party – bingo, breakfasts, the list goes on.
Broome is alive – and I am thrilled to be part of the excitement.
Lucy from Broome Pride, the woman behind the organisation of events, heard I was creating this collection and invited me to showcase at the “Pride Tide” gin launch event, Saturday 13th February.
The timeframe was the shortest I’d ever created to and for a runway collection, I needed materials – I needed ‘bling’ and the response to my call out was phenomenal – it made my heart sing. Friends, The local Broome Aqua ladies, Sun (Dance) Studios Broome, The Chamber of Commerce and Regional Arts WA filled my studio with bling.
I locked myself away for the short few weeks and created a 24 piece collection that unveiled on the runway of the Roebuck Bay Hotel outdoor venue, as part of the launch of Moontide Distillery’s new gin.
The “Pride Tide” Launch featured the launch of the Hats by Felicity “Crown Jewels,” and I couldn’t be more excited, thankful and proud.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better – the local pole dancing troupe were available to model my creations.
“Can we get out our sass” they asked? “Oh my Lordy yes”, I said.
There was no better way to officially launch as the “Milliner to the Queens,” than with the “Crown Jewels” collection paraded by local models filled with personality and sass, showcasing to a capacity local crowd, at an outdoor venue in Balmy Broome, filled with colour, shimmer, sweat and fun.
Enjoy the footage of the launch and if you know any Mardi Gras Queens, and fun-stars who love to get amongst the February Mardi Gras festivities, share the launch around. My “Crown Jewels” collection is now officially unveiled, launched and available, and there’ll be more glitter to come over the years.
Photography by Laura Gass Photography | Footage by Lana Reed Productions | Thanks to Moontide Distillery, The Roebuck Bay Hotel and Broome Pride.
Now … It’s time for another beer with Billy