Tag Archives: Canta

Hats and Happiness & Crown Jewels III

When I was born apparently mum and dad disagreed on my name. 

Dad wanted Kelly, but Mum won with Felicity. 

The dictionary meaning for felicity is intense happiness.

I’ve always known that hats bring happiness – this is why I do what I do, and why I named my millinery business Hats by Felicity. To me, it’s about so much more than the hat, it’s about what the hat does – how the hat (or headpiece) makes you feel.

Sometimes, I can’t help feeling that my business and I, are both very aptly named, especially when I see photos like this, from my recent runway launch (it completely cracks me up)!

Captured by Laura Gass Photography
The crowd, the models and a very excited me – Hats and Happiness – captured by Laura Gass Photography

What a way to kick off the Broome Pride 12 day festival of Mardi Gras events. 

For three years now, I have launched the Crown Jewels at Broome Pride’s Launch event and I couldn’t be more thrilled. 

As Milliner on the Move I gathered the inspiration for this collection from around the world; from New Orleans, Sydney, Far Western NSW, the Kimberley and my favourite TV series of the moment, Yellowstone.

As Milliner to the Queens I launched the collection to an energetic full house, by runway parade at the Roebuck Bay Hotel, Broome. 

Crown Jewels III is a collection of Mardi Gras hats and masks, showpieces, and race-wear millinery for those who like to take it up a trackside notch. 

The Broome Pride Launch Party officially launches the Broome Mardi Gras festival of events, which is now in it’s 9th Year.

What started as a one night event in a seedy nightclub, is now a two week festival that lines the airport with private jets and fills the town with business, colour and fun; and impressively, is powered by volunteers and the brainchild of one woman, Lucy

So, what is Mardi Gras and where did it come from? Well, originally, in New Orleans in the early 1700’s, Mardi Gras was a masquerade parade occurring on Fat Tuesday, which is the last day before Lent.

Mardi Gras started as elegant society balls, then as a carnival, and by late 1830’s New Orleans held colourful street processions organised by Masked Krewes, who remained anonymous to the crowd. 

New Orleanians call these Mardi Gras parades the “Greatest Free Show on Earth”

A Krewe (pronounced crew) is the social organisation that stages the parades and balls for the Mardi Gras celebrations. 

My own trip to New Orleans in 2015 inspired a few pieces of my latest collection, Crown Jewels III, including this mask, that I named De Lis, honouring the said New Orleans masked Krewes. 

Sista too was inspired by New Orleans, as the gem of the carnival who steps out with a POW under the lights of Mardi Gras. 

Hats by Felicity – Sista – modelled by Rachael

Poppae represents the true carnivale’ of Mardi Gras, inspired by the colourful streets of New Orleans and the spark of travel itself. She’s all about the excitement of exploring the world, and living life to the full. And she’s made of pom poms which are SO right now. 

Hats by Felicity – Poppae – Modelled by Amanda

And our Fifi de Fleur, who floats through the crowds as the colour of the Mardi Gras parades. 

Hats by Felicity – Fifi de Fleur – modelled by Jenny

Not all the collection was inspired by New Orleans. Beth’s inspiration comes from Yellowstone, OMG is anyone else as addicted as me? 

We all know I love the country, but let’s talk about Montana, USA, cowboys, and big hats. Take me back is all I can say …. 

Beth’s pheasant coucal feathers have a story, as all my feather pieces do, arriving to me in a bag with the words Happy Birthday from my mate Mal, who had gathered up the feathers, strewn from a bird that had come to grief. 

Always keen to give the feathers another flight, I cleaned and preened and returned them to their glory, and mirrored their construction as the two faces of our Beth, who’s character we are both endeared to and scared of, at once. 

During my recent trip to NSW I was treated to a bucket list New Year’s eve fireworks, onboard the Riverboat Postman. 

Three pieces were created as a result of this magical night on Sydney Harbour – inspired by the fireworks, and created also to represent my Sydney experience, as a now Kimberley girl, circling back to where my adventure began all those years ago, in NSW. 

Canta, which means to sing, was inspired by the pure vision of the Opera House that night; not to forget the sound of Australian born, Nashville-based country singer, Morgan Evans, performing at the Opera House as we cruised on by. 

We were one of the few boats with a band onboard that night – Middle Earth sang as we wove in and out the boats on the harbour – who were all so very jealous, of course.

Pictured below is Canta, modelled by Aimee and with my inspiration for the creation, the Sydney Opera House.

Back in the Kimberley, with it’s endless inspiration, I created Min-Min with her flashing lights, and Crystal, inspired by the cirrus cloud that streaks crystals by the wind; and many more pieces to showcase Crown Jewels III.

In every collection I launch, I honour the trade of millinery by including a vintage hat that I’ve restored and included my own slant to, and Hawthorne is the restored beauty of Crown Jewels III. 

Hats by Felicity Hawthorne – modelled by Grace

I could share these photos and yarns all day but I’d probably crash your device, so, to further meet these and more creations and their inspirations I invite you to view the collection by clicking to Hats by Felicity Crown Jewels III

Now, we all know there wouldn’t be a Crown Jewels runway without the sass and stage fun of these sensational models, from The Hangar Broome. They are absolutely delightful, and I thank them all; AND she who captures them, and all the hats and happiness, the talented Laura Gass Photography.

And I can’t thank Lucy and Broome Pride Incorporated enough, for the honour of showcasing and being part of this Broome community event.

Broome Pride is a non for profit organisation, organising and promoting inclusive events for the LGBT community.

Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parades have been growing since the first bold protest march in the early 1970’s, and Broome Mardi Gras Festival of Events joins the now worldwide celebrations and in particular, echo’s the Mardi Gras of Sydney, which this year is hosting WorldPride.

Once upon a time, February and March were when we flew out of Broome, now, thanks to one woman’s dream and commitment, a community coming together, sponsors, and an extensive program of Mardi Gras events, people are flying in. 

Have you booked your trip to Broome? 

Keep smiling and perhaps I’ll see you here, one day soon.

Felicity x