Tag Archives: Broome

Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?

I have always been infatuated by the 50’s and 60’s and drawn to the elegance and style of Audrey. Her innocence and sophistication may not ooze from this country girl in jeans but if muses are the goddesses of inspiration, then Audrey Hepburn is mine. Audrey-Hepburn-2 This year the Hats by Felicity collection sprinkles the aura of Audrey through materials, style and design. I find it so hard not to share the creations as they materialise but having accepted my second invitation to the runway of New York Fashion Week, I need to keep yet another collection under wraps.

One thing I will share with you all though, is the special little treat soon to appear in each hat and headpiece that I create. With the greatest of joy I introduce you to the new Hats by Felicity hat tag, a button made from mother of pearl. IMG_7263 Broome’s pearling history began with the pearl button, so you can imagine how proud I am to share this with the world and to honour my home of 20 years in every piece that I create. The shell is Pinctada maxima, fished from the ocean bed of the 80 mile beach, south of Broome.

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Broome history: Onboard a pearling lugger diving for pearl shell

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Broome history: hard hat divers dived for shell to produce the mother of pearl button

Twenty years ago most of us in Broome worked in the pearling Industry. I lived and worked on a boat, on a pearl farm in the magnificent Buccaneer Archipelago. I worked for a family business and we farmed the magnificent pearl. I flew to work on a sea plane and after 10 days on the boat returned to Broome to spend the hard earned cash in four quick days, before flying back out to sea. It’s what we all did! The pearling industry gets into your blood and the people you lived and worked with became yet another family, many of whom for me are still here in Broome. The Pinctada maxima oysters that we proudly farmed produce the biggest and most beautiful pearls in the world.

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View of the Buccaneer Archipelago from the plane

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Pinctada maxima oyster with pearl

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largest south sea pearl in the world

A much, much smaller version of south sea pearl might appear in my creations at this year’s Hats by Felicity show, so keep a keen eye out amongst the feathers, for our lustrous gem.

As legendary as the pearl, remember the story of Arno the Belgium fashion designer who I met at the Broome rodeo the eve of last year’s Broome Cup? https://millineronthemove.com/2014/08/23/station-hand-stitches/

It seems only right that the next Hats by Felicity chapter should include Arno, so with great excitement I announce that Arno is designing as we speak, my NYFW dress for this year’s Spring Summer runway event. As for what I’ll be wearing? Well, that’s another secret under wraps; perhaps the inspiration will be a 1929 born cosmopolitan from the same homeland as Arno himself?

I pinch myself that I’m heading back to fashion week. Already there’s not enough hours in the day and days in the week to achieve my long list of ‘to do’ but the excitement has set in and thats what its all about. This is my life at the moment and I’m waking up every day loving it! Flic and hats NYFW I’ve got another wonderful group of friends making the Big Apple trip this year to support me and I cant’ tell them how much this helps me along. I’m so blessed. A group of us have pitched in and rented a fabulous home that is walking distance from the show and would you believe, on the wall in my bedroom of this NYC home, sits perfectly a framed picture of none other than the Oscar winning Audrey herself. That’s what I call a sign.

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, Audrey Hepburn, 1961

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, Audrey Hepburn, 1961

Sprinkle kindness, beautiful people. till next time … xf

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My proud runway bow

New York Fashion Week. Wow! Where on this great privileged earth do I begin?

I don’t know how to explain how absolutely petrified, insanely excited and ridiculously proud I was all at once, that moment when the show hair stylist pushed me through the entrance and on to the runway because as we all predicted, I froze and stalled at the gate.

In the lead up to the show, our East Village apartment had likened a sweat shop as my buddies who had flown in from around the globe helped put together goodies for the 150 VIP show bags.

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Holly the sweat shop Manager

There are only certain friends in the world you can ask to fold programs without looking at the contents within.

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I wanted my friends who had made the big NYFW trip, to not see a snippet of the collection before the big day. They weren’t allowed to the viewing nights in Broome or the fittings day in New York. My house and backyard studio were even out of bounds. I wanted them to experience the wow factor on the day, as VIP guests at the New York Fashion Week show.

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Karen and Holly seated and waiting for the show

I did make one exception to the rule for my friend Jane, from the Kimberley desert region of Western Australia, to have a backstage pass to help with the models dresses and shoes and bless Jane, she even kept her glasses off for most of the backstage experience to not focus on the headpieces that I was still trying to keep a surprise. I am sure Jane and Lidia (my other saviour helping hand) could write their own blog of our time backstage, however, we’ve decided that what happens behind the scenes at Fashion Week is a form of secret women’s business that will stay behind the scenes.

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Backstage Jane has a model dressed and ready to go

While we were backstage, the rest of my 20 guests excitedly lined up for their VIP show seats out the front of the Helen Mills Event Space in Chelsea, revelling in the excitement and keeping an impressive run of social media updates for those back home in Australia and Broome.

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I was the first designer to showcase at the Designers Premier so my music created the opening mood for the show and what an emotional, heart hitting opening I proudly presented to the world. Created to perfection by incredible talent from Broome, the NYFW chatter was quickly quietened by the emotional tribal tune that left no dry Kimberley eye at the show.

Behind the scenes we could not see but only hear the crowd reaction as one by one the models took the runway and showcased to perfection, my collection of hand crafted, one-off, millinery pieces; the wearable art that had consumed my year by it’s creation.

A model prepares to enter the runway

A model prepares to enter the runway

Each piece presented to the runway was proudly named in honour of my friends, who in March this year held a surprise gala fundraising event to help me get where I proudly stood this moment – on the runway of New York Fashion Week, presenting the millinery fashion for Spring/Summer 2015.

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My VIP guests behaving according

I had been so busy backstage that my nerves didn’t enter the room until my time to enter the runway and as mentioned, I did need a little push. That walk down the white runway towards the hustle of cameras is a blur. I remember seeing my friends and being unable to control the smile that took over my face but I couldn’t hear a thing and don’t remember anything other than giving a wave to a familiar face on the way back and towards my out.

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Proudly wearing RM Williams, Sportscraft and Jewels of the Kimberley pearls from Broome

My fabulous RM Williams boots scooted me up and down that runway without me coordinating a step.  Twelve months of preparation, of creation and administration was over in around eight incredible minutes flat. The models had presented my 20 piece collection to the world and I proudly took my bow. And back in Broome now, the entire adventure seems a dream.

As the reality sets in I’ll tell more tales – in the meantime, I’ll leave you with these first pics of Hats by Felicity behind the scenes and on the runway of New York Fashion Week.

Enjoy. xf

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Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York …
Happy New Year beautiful people! I hope 2014 is everything that you dream for and is filled with health, friends, family, giggles, bubbles and fun.
This is going to be a big year for me, especially with the New York adventure and many have hinted how super organised I’ll need to be. Truth is, every year is bigger than the last, so I thought I’d share with you how I prepare for the onslaught.
My favourite way to start the New Year is by making plans, so the first purchase for 2014 was a wall planner and diary. For a brief moment I thought this would be the year to rid the hard copy and shift to technology but that was a brief moment that I decided against, as there’s no nicer way to start the year than with a gorgeous new diary to pencil in your holiday plans, work, business and other commitments and daily jobs lists, ready to tick off as you achieve.
I choose a colourful diary with soft textured cover; something that looks good and feels good, which is all very important. This year’s colour is the Roebuck Bay green that I always strive to achieve in my creations.
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Holidays and weekend get-a-ways are the first entries in my calendar, followed by my small business commitments and then work. The latter is the easiest as I work full time so it’s a given that Monday to Friday will be spent at work, along with some overnight’s in the region. It’s the before and after work and weekend entries that I spend time planning.
The first entry on the planner and diary this year was, of course, New York.         In September this Milliner will be on the move to the United States for what will undoubtedly be the adventure of a lifetime. Sunday September 7th has a feather attached to it being the day I unveil Hats by Felicity to the world on the runway at New York Fashion week.
S H U D D E R ….

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To make sure I survive the year’s challenges, I put into practice the self-care plan. Those that know me well, know I take the self-care plan very seriously. Since early 2000 I have implemented my Monday nights – the sacred night that is dedicated to me. Flic nite as it’s affectionately known to friends and family, is the night I politely say no to all invitations; the night I am completely comfortable in doing nothing. Lucky for me Monday can often be a good TV line up. It’s also the night that my close friends and family phone for a yarn. Sometimes I book a massage or facial. It’s about stopping to smell the frangipanis, enjoy my space and reenergise. We live in such a busy world filled with food, bubbles, work and play that without jumping off the coaster at least one night a week, for me at least, the chances of burn out are big. Those closest to me completely respect my Monday nights and never pressure or expect me to make the exception.

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Although quite passive compared to others, the next entry is the exercise plan. My exercise program usually involves alternate mornings of gardening and beach walks before work. These forms of exercise are great for the body and the mind AND for inspiration for millinery creation.
Those that follow my Hats by Felicity Instagram are often privy to my morning shots of inspiration, particularly from Cable Beach. Broome and the Kimberley are endless sources of inspiration.

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The self care plan and exercise program are diarised along with dedicated timeframes for my passion and art that is the Millinery.
Taking on full time work meant a very real need for planning. It’s such a pleasure to spend Saturday’s working for yourself, which is my dedicated day for Hats by Felicity. When the Broome race round commences I may need to start a little earlier on Saturday mornings however, as I can’t miss a day at Broome races.
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Equally as important to all the above is dedicating time to the cancer cause with fundraising and catching up for bubbles and fun with my awesome friends.
With commitments to holidays, getaways, my self-care plan, work, millinery, fundraising, friends and fun, I look forward to filling the remaining spaces with whatever opportunities come my way.
Having a plan is important to me but I also like to remain flexible because you just never know what opportunities might come your way. I am not too hard on myself if my plan diverts (with the exception of Flic nite), after all we can’t forget that life is for living.
To bounce out of bed of a morning I have set my alarm to wake me with Alicia Keys singing Empire State of Mind. With a year like this ahead, it can only be a good day waking to the chorus of New York, New York, New York …
So there you have it, a snippet into my kick start for 2014. If any of these ideas appeal to you, please take a feather from my hat. My other advice is surround yourself with positive and loyal people who celebrate the excitement of your dreams.
Cheers and Happy 2014. x f

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,
New York