Tag Archives: Broome Ladies Day

Sore thumbed Olympian …

I can see the Empire State Building from my Manhattan apartment window – did you know they change the colour of the tower lights every night? Tonight it’s orange and blue. I have to pinch myself that I’m here.

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It’s been a massive run to my third NYFW show and thanks to my friends and some amazing sponsors, and the creative headspace from working for myself (yes … I’ve finished with the Ag Dept.), I am well and truly here, all glue guns blazing, with my Spring Summer 2017 collection of millinery creations, and I’m ready to show to over 300 VIP’s and the fashion world, in but a few short days. To say I’m a tad nervous is absolutely nowhere close to the mark!

The lead up to this years event has been busy. As milliner on the Move I had brilliant trips to Anna Plains Station in the Kimberley and to Yarrie Station and the races of Marble Bar in the Pilbara region. Both of these adventures, however, command their own individual blog space, so you’ll have to stay tuned for these yarns on my return from the shiny red.

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The Broome races too, were a feather above the rest this year with Broome Cup being the most colourful of all Broome trackside events I’ve seen yet. Never have I created so many hats and headpieces in one year and although my fingers are still recovering, I’m already excited to do it again.

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And now I am here, in New York City on the eve of Fashion Week with my Hats by Felicity showing this Sunday, September 11, at 5pm. I keep doing double takes as I see my name and imagine this is how the Olympians must feel – with AUSTRALIA in capitals beneath … i’m sure Olympians have more than sore fingers and thumb, though … and they probably use the stairs, not the lift.

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My runway event will be live streamed through the Hats by Felicity Face book page. I’m showing with Fashion Gallery at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Affinia Hotel 5pm NYC time and believe me, not only are those chandeliers going to shine .. my models are wearing a custom made Bondi Bather special that compliments my collection to perfection and I can’t wait to show you all.

And wait till you see the feathers … my feather collectors have been amazing again this year with feathers coming from all parts of Australia. Without these stunning plumes and while Im at it, without my feather sorter (thanks Ella) I wouldn’t be showcasing half the collection I am about to, so when these hand collected feather creations float upon the runway please feel as proud as I am because without you, they simply wouldn’t exist.

I know I’ve said it twice before, but when this collection presents on the NYFW runway, it’s not just me showcasing, it’s a whole swag of us who are part of the hat and yarn …

I met the models who are going to parade my work yesterday, some of which are return girls from last year. They are a really lovely bunch who looked a tad unsure when I explained the dictionary meaning for Felicity is ‘happiness’ and bliss, and if they feel happy when they are wearing my creations on the runway, then by all means feel free to smile ..

Tonight I have my own big smile with my whole collection around me, I’ve been trying pieces on and assigning them to the models, preening feathers and feeling proud, with the Empire State building shining above me. I can’t wait to show you.

And what do I want to achieve from this NYFW event? Apart from raising awareness of millinery as a wearable art, through my collection entitled “Australia in Bloom” I want to proudly highlight our stunning and truly beautiful rural, regional and remote Australia; and above all, as a small business and passionate milliner, I want to secure a millinery contract in the industry of film – then we can aim for the Oscars after this!

A special shout of thanks to those who have dressed me for the runway, provided me with luscious lashes and fabulous skin, amazing hair and sensational sunglasses; who created spectacular outfits for the models, put together heart pumping music for the runway; for the pearls that are about to walk the runway, who designed my menu of creations for “Australia in Bloom” and millinery materials of stunning best; those who’ve fed me when I was in lock-down creating this collection, who’ve sponsored my name to the wallpaper for the red carpet, models for the runway; for your talented photography (Kathryn Sprigg) and who’ve worked tirelessly by my side making all this happen (thank you Kim St John). You are all tagged with love and thanks. And to my family and my friends, who continue rock my world and make this millinery dream happen … Thank you.

See you on Sunday – I’ll wave from the runway (if i’m conscious).

x flic

PS A heartfelt thanks for this surprise GoFundme site… #fundedbyfriends

https://www.gofundme.com/2mwke97f

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Madhattan

I’ve been somewhere I’ve never been before and that’s in front of a movie camera! Yes, there’s a documentary in the making and I’m in it. In fact, it’s about me, although it really feels like it’s about someone else. IMG_0320 I feel honoured for the opportunity; however, with my fear of public speaking, being in front of a camera hasn’t come naturally. The producer tells me I’ve become much more relaxed but she’s also a very kind person. So, what’s this all about? Well in a nutshell and soon to be released trailer, the story is about my creative journey to my first solo Hats by Felicity show at New York Fashion week but more so the story is about innovation, community and following your dreams; all things you know I am passionate about. Stage one of filming is complete (phew) and from that footage you will soon see a snippet, so stay tuned.

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With producer and super camera woman Caro and sound editor Craig

Apart from camera’s rolling, the Milliner has been on the move again, this time to Liveringa cattle station in the West Kimberley, for a fabulous evening at the historic old Liveringa homestead. IMG_8192 Ladies from nearby stations and from Derby and Broome frocked up for a night of hats and giggles on the homestead veranda from sunset. IMG_0206 IMG_0215 IMG_8171 I love these events. It’s from such remote locations that some women try a headpiece for the very first time, which is often when the addiction begins. IMG_8168 I love it when that one person gets the crowd moving and tries the first hat. The oooh’s and ahhh’s make my day. Usually I have only seen my creations on a foam head or on my own head, so I encourage people to try them on for my enjoyment just as much as their own and those who’ve gathered around. I love seeing how differently people position a piece on their head. I always say with my creations, “there are no rules”. I also love watching how a hat or headpiece can change a woman’s demeanour, her stance, how she holds herself, looks at her self – a hat can instantly create a confidence and release a personality. This goes for men wearing hats too. A man’s presence can strengthen; his shoulders move back and confidence grow when he puts on his hat. A hat can command instant respect and for some, their identity is their hat. 478571-ian-amp-034-molly-amp-034-meldrum article-2611723-1D48D2DE00000578-5_634x609

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Local Broome identity and friend Baamba

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My DAFWA work colleagues with their new Sunbody cowboy hats

Wearing hats, coming together for events, catching up with friends and meeting new people are all so important when you live remotely. The Milliner on the move adventures are always such a joy because we get to indulge all of the above and more. IMG_8341 IMG_0297 IMG_0277 IMG_0304 IMG_0319 IMG_0309 It’s our Ladies Day and Cup day in August and the commissions for bespoke creations have been plenty. Prior to these prestigious events though, it’s my 2015 collection unveil at the Broome Turf Club and Corporate cup race day Friday 24th July. I am in the final stages of preparation for this collection and event. And believe me; I get as nervous on my local stage as the big one in NYC! Speaking of which, the countdown is now less than two month’s till the Hats by Felicity NYFW show! I better get back into that shed! IMG_0227 Have a wonderful day and a belly laugh with a friend. Xf quotes-1461

Station hand stitches

It’s definitely a huge relief that my millinery collection bound for NYFW is complete and on its way. All the other jobs on the NYFW to do list, however, just keep coming … the models, their shoes, dresses, hair and makeup, the music, promotional goods, naming, pricing, programs, media and of course the question on everyone’s lips, what I am going to wear?
Among the ever consuming list of Fashion Week preparations, we’ve also had the Broome race round and the famous Ladies Day and Cup Day.
I finally finished creating the last Broome Cup bespoke commission piece, which incidentally I am proud to say was for the Hon Julie Bishop, on the eve of the race event which was just in the nic of time to make it to the local Broome rodeo.
This annual, action packed, rough riding event brings the bush to town for an evening of thrills and spills and for most, is the perfect warm up for the Broome Cup races the next day.
My visiting girlfriends and I were throwing down some celebratory beverages to signify my finishing all hats and our long and overdue reunion, when we were introduced to Arno, a young station hand from a Kimberley cattle station.
Arno was working for friends of mine so I had already heard about this handy backpacker that within moments had us greatly entertained. His story telling combined with his Belgium accent had us in fits of laughter, particularly with the story of working on the horse barriers at Ladies Day, when he noticed a lady with a shocking rip in her dress. Arno had us on the edge of the rodeo arena with the story of how he whisked her away into his van and promptly sewed up her dress. Who would have guessed that Arno the station hand was a Belgium fashion designer as well?
“Show us your work” we echoed as the dust filled our jaw dropped mouths. With one eye focussed on the bull ride, the other scrolled the exquisite fashion work of Arno, our new and fashionable friend.
“Perhaps you could make my after party dress for New York Fashion week” I said, to which he excitedly replied “Of course”.
Well, that was the beginning of another thread to this journey. Arno grabbed an empty pizza box half buried in the arena dirt and after finally finding a pen, he quickly started to sketch.

“I can’t have anything long” I said, because my legs are short”.
“I know”. He replied.
“And I don’t have a waist,” I quickly added.
“I know” he said, with a slight edge of pity. How he could see these self confessed flaws I had no idea, as I was wearing a jacket, scarf and jeans.
Within minutes the crowd around Arno and his pizza box grew and when he revealed the final draft of my after party dress everyone gasped as loudly as when the ringer proposed to his girlfriend in the arena earlier that night.
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The next day Arno arrived to take my measurements and borrow my sewing machine to set up at his campsite in Broome and sew a practice dress. Four hours later he was back and pinning me into this draft creation that I would have been happy to wear to the races! This is one very talented man!
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The next day I met Arno to purchase his chosen materials for the final masterpiece and set him up in my hat studio before I headed off to my day job. I returned that evening to be pinned into the creation that had me speechless. I felt like a princess, like Carrie Bradshaw herself on the streets of New York. I was in awe.

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After a few more alterations and an early night, Arno set off for the four hour drive back to the cattle Station where he spent the week fencing and working with cattle by day and sewing my NYFW after party dress by night.
I’m yet to see the final product that will come into town from the Station this week but I’m feeling completely confident and totally excited that while other tasks remain unachieved on the NYFW list, not only do we have yet another magnificent chapter to this story but I have no doubt I will also soon have a spectacular, truly unique NYFW after party dress.
Keep smiling and stay tuned …

and here’s Julie Bishop in her Hats by Felicity headpiece.

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Thank you

For almost a week now I have been trying to find the right words to express my heartfelt thanks for the crowd funding link and the surprise event in Broome. The New York themed fundraisers have honoured not only my opportunity to the runway but also, they have most humbly honoured me.

I’m not convinced I will ever be able to convey what this act of superb kindness has done for me and I may not know everyone involved but to those precious people who have donated through the pozible site, the girls at Broome Florist, Green Tree Room, Leon Mead, Chris Maher, Garrett Prendiville and the Mangrove team; Kira and the Kimberley Girls, Marissa & Ross, Target, Carpet Paint & Tile; those super-generous beings who donated exquisite items to auction; my brother Matt, my friends who travelled across the country from the desert and the city and to the magnificent Community of beyond and Broome – Thank You.

As for those women of magnificence, my friends that planned this event and established the site and have constantly supported me so well – sometimes I struggle with the right words and when naming my creations I often suffer the same.

To each of you who have done this for me, I honour you through my collection bound for New York.

When the Hats by Felicity creations present to the runway and the world, … I will introduce to you; the Natasha, Hilary, Holly, Penelope, Jodi, Vinka and Sam; the Trish, Kylie, Ellyn, Josie, Kelli, Melanie, Anne-Marie, Leah and Jane.

This is my honour to you … and now the entire collection is almost named.

Thank you. x flic

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Hats by Felicity Crowd Funding Link

Oaks Day Stars all round

It’s a proud moment for the milliner when you look across the track and see your creations out and about.
From the Kimberley to Melbourne’s Spring Carnival my recent joy was looking across the Crown Oaks Day rails to see Hats by Felicity creations immersed in the fun.

Bluestar, worn by Jane is a personal favourite of mine.  From the 2012 collection Bluestar couldn’t have been a more fitting compliment for Jane’s new dress.

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I often say you should purchase your headpiece first and your dress will soon find you and Jane’s ensemble is the perfect example.  Jane and Bluestar were an Oaks Day hit from all angles of the track.

I also say your headpiece should be worn more than once and that each time you wear her, she will look completely different to the last.

Jane wearing Bluestar at Broome Ladies Day 2012

Jane wearing Bluestar at Broome Ladies Day 2012

After all your unique headpiece purchase is like a piece of art, created to be constanly enjoyed, shared and out there on show.

Another Oaks Day favourite wearing a star was Roxie.  When Roxie first walked into the Hats by Felicity studio in Broome, Kimberley Star immediately caught her eye.

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When Roxie boarded the tram for Flemmington it was she who caught everyone’s eye.Jane4

The Kimberley girls had a wonderful time in Melbourne and the Melbourne girls and their Hats by Felicity had a fabulous time as well.

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With Spring Carnival now over it’s time to pop the bubble and think seriously about New York.  In the mean time though, it’s thank you to my ever loyal clients and friends who have once again made me the super-proud milliner on the move …

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Keep smiling.

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Hold on to your Big Apple hats …

With only two more sleeps before the Big Apple adventure there is so much to do, bags to pack (with what I have no idea), lists to tick (that simply aren’t getting ticked) and Kimberley gifts to wrap (the most pleasurable task of all).

So, with all this brimming pressure it goes without saying that the most sensible thing to do this afternoon was to get a pedicure, Big apple red, none the less.
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Now I’m ready to pack.

It’s hard to believe the U.S. adventure is almost here.  The Hats by Felicity year has been so incredibly busy with our fashion shoot, parade at the races, creating  headwear and stamina for 11 Broome race meetings, including Broome Ladies Day and Cup Day and now it seems, we’re off to New York!

It’s been many years since this milliner has been on the overseas move and to say the excitement is bursting the champagne glass would be an understatement.  September is Fashion Week in NYC so I figure why not don your best hat and stalk the show.

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It won’t be all about New York, however.  Celebrity guest appearances will also be made in San Francisco, Nashville and Texas, so when I say hold on to your hats I really mean it’s going to be all about the hats.  Big hats!

For now, though, it’s all about the packing and getting this Milliner on the move.

I’m clicking my Dorothy heels and Big Apple red toes and all going accordingly, will be landing in San Francisco oh so very soon.

Welcome to the show!

Cheers, x F