Tag Archives: Helen Mills Event Space

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.

Karen and Holly at Flic's show

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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The white sky wish

I wished for a white sky and when you live in Broome, WA where each day is sunny and the perfect hue of blue, a white sky is quite the far fetched wish.

However, on the July morning of the Hats by Felicity parade at Broome Turf Club where I unveiled the 2014 collection, we woke to a chilly, windy and white sky in Broome.

Photographer Tao and I could not believe our luck.

The NYFW runway at the Helen Mills Event space where I will soon unveil the NYFW collection is white and I wanted to see how my hats will pop amongst white, hence the white sky wish.

The Hats by Felicity collection was paraded on an outdoor stage at the Broome Turf club event, however, you could definitely think these photos were taken in a studio room.

Thanks to the white sky wish, the below visuals showcase my current, local collection perfectly.  I love the end result.

You can see why I am ridiculously excited to see how the currently under wraps but soon to be released NYFW collection is about to pop!

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Keep smiling.  x f

 

Love the luck

This morning I went for my beach walk. I haven’t been on my morning ritual for a while and was chomping at the bit to top that stairwell and soak in the magnificence that is Cable Beach. My mornings have been otherwise consumed by sewing last minute touches for bespoke commission pieces, cleaning The Quarters, my accommodation business that is well booked at this time of the year and trying to rid a chest cold and cough that snuck in when I wasn’t looking. This morning though, I pledged myself the joy of getting back on that beach. It was a chilly morning (yes, Broome gets cool) so I put the car keys in the pocket of my hoodie, unravelled my earphones and listened to True Blue, that my iPhone shuffle so aptly played as I topped the stairwell over the beach. Ahhh that scene.

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I headed off in my regular direction towards Gantheume point and quickly found myself immersed in the morning. My thoughts were racing and they were all over the place, from the sleeping arrangements of our apartment in New York to wondering where in the world my brother’s job has him travelling today and how white my legs look in the parade photos and other small world stuff. I had walked for about 30 minutes and hadn’t even looked into the ocean where I often see a beautiful family of sting ray or better still at this time of the year, whales. I noticed a golden ray of sunshine on the boats anchored off Gantheume point and then realised how far I had walked – almost too far to ensure I make it back home for a shower and to work on time. I quickly turned, annoyed at myself for not taking in the scene and instead thinking about how well my friends would sleep on the eve of my New York Fashion Week show. I couldn’t even remember what music had played in my ears. I love to jog up the stairwell at the end of each walk. Grabbing my pockets for the impending run, I froze in horror with the realisation that my pocket was empty and my keys were gone! House keys, car key, mail key, padlock keys, work keys, you name it. There was nothing in the pocket except a hole. I looked back up that long stretch of beach. I couldn’t even remember how far up I had walked. I ran back to my car in the hope I had lost them at the beginning of the walk; but nothing. Aware of the time and the hopeless task before me I headed back to the beach and embarked what I could only hope was a similar path to what I had walked this morning. Taking a deep breath I focused on the footprints in the sand and on each shell and rock that protruded from every ounce of beach. I couldn’t believe I had been so consumed with small world stuff that I didn’t hear or feel my keys fall through my pocket. Usually I notice the birds, the crabs and sea life, the boats anchored and heading out to the horizon and the cloud formations in the sky. This morning I didn’t even know where I had walked. I walked and scanned but after reaching the end point I thought I had made it to earlier, decided to turn home and while still searching for the keys, started to make some plans about what to do when I got back to my car, presuming my car would still be there. Scanning the beach and devising the plan, I had almost made it back to the stairs having done my hour walk a second time, when the red tag popped out of the sand in front of me. There, right in my trail, amongst the many foot prints of sand, on the big Cable Beach, was my full set of keys. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. I bounced up the stairs, turned towards the ocean and thanked the day. How was my luck? I couldn’t believe it.

My morning walks have always been my grounding. I have forever maintained the reason I can achieve the often ridiculous schedule of life events is because I spend the morning with the beach. Cable beach passed on a very clear message to me this morning and I took it on board. What was I doing sweating the small stuff? I was so consumed, even having sleepless nights by silly, petty, worries and thoughts when all the while I have much bigger fish to fry. This morning reminded me to focus.

In six weeks I will be flying over Cable Beach, out of Australia and over to New York Fashion Week where I will represent the country as the first Australian on the runway at the Helen Mills Event Space, Chelsea, New York; showcasing my millinery passion to the world.


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Thank you, Cable Beach and thank you sweet lady Broome.

I’m focused again, albeit with stiff legs and sore calf muscles.

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New York state of mind

Apparently there is only three months till I am on the runway of New York Fashion Week!

I don’t know where to begin. The white board has a jobs list, the infamous Roebuck Bay coloured green diary has a multitude of lists, there are pieces of paper strewn across the house and post it pads all over my computers and walls and fridges with more and more lists; even the kitchen blackboard has a list BUT I don’t feel I am getting anywhere near achieving the New York Fashion Week list of jobs to do – and I’m due on the runway in THREE months time!

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We all move through life saying how fast time is passing but I have to say, i’m with those that believe 2014 is on speed!

Since the last update, the models shoes look like they might be close to sorted with the Fashion Gallery helping me find a suitable choice. The Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has recommended and introduced me to a designer for the dresses and most importantly, my own runway collection is underway.

But there came a time when I couldn’t move in the studio, with headpieces hidden everywhere so I decided to have a viewing night.

I am blessed with friends. I have the most supportive, proactive, encouraging and committed friends and i’m still pinching myself that over a dozen of them are making the trip to New York for the Fashion Week event.

A few friends who are coming to NYFW and one that should be ...

A few friends who are coming to NYFW and one that should be …

I want to give these beautiful friends the experience of a life time when my creations enter the room and therefore have decided they are not allowed to see any part of the collection until they are sitting there, poised in their VIP chairs on the runway at the Helen Mills Events Space for the New York Fashion Week event.

Some of these fabulous friends have been less inclined to accept this unexpected fate but I stand firm and hence, they were not invited to the viewing night.

One of these dear friends who is coming to New York lives on a remote cattle station 10 hours drive from Broome, in the middle of the desert. When Jane makes it to town I am so excited and can’t wait to catch up with her (and kids and husband too) and you wouldn’t believe it but Jane was in town for the School of the air camp school when the viewing night was on. We couldn’t have planned it better but what was that great decision of mine? …. not allowed?! Oh dear … remind me why I made that rule? I felt SO cruel!

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Enjoying the hospitality of Jane and family at Yougawalla station

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Jane is so into her millinery – even when she’s out mustering cattle

The Viewing night was filled with friends that have been on the journey with me, have always shown an interest but who won’t be in New York for the show; along with a few party crashers that I completely welcomed. I am still overwhelmed that ten of the 20 guests were men.

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Twenty people in my lounge room and I was nervous! What the hell am I going to do on the runway of New York Fashion Week?! I was however, thrilled at how seriously my friends took the judging part of the night and can’t thank them enough for the comments, the constructive criticism and their valued input. It’s everyone’s journey to New York and I love that my friends know it!

I know I said I wasn’t going to show any pics of pieces from the viewing night but this sacrifice headpiece viewed on the Today Show is the ONE allowed ..

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Wishing you laughter, giggles and fun beautiful people.

It’s back to the studio and all those jobs lists for me!  x f

Keep calm again

New York Fashion Week – every little girls dream

It’s official!  The invitation to bring Hats by Felicity to the runway of New York Fashion Week is accepted, the registration contract has been signed and our spot is secured!  Sunday 7th September 2014 at 4pm is the date to stick a feather on your calendar, when we will be back in New York City at the Helen Mills Event Space.  This time, however, as a designer showcasing the Hats by Felicity Spring/Summer 2015 collection at New York Fashion Week!  How do you think we are feeling?

You guessed it – absolutely petrified!

I have pinched myself so much that strangers are staring at the bruises and believe me, the cliche is exactly what every little girl dreams it to be.  Sometimes I wake wondering if I have dreamt the whole thing.  My hat studio however, soon reminds me of the reality and chaos that my life has now entered, with feathers, flowers, fabrics and a white board full of jobs to do between now and the big apple event.

Where to start?  To be truthful, I haven’t really known but to get the creations underway I can guarantee I’ll be going few places other than the hat studio this festive break.

As we speak I am cleaning, preening and trimming feathers in anticipation of the designs, currently drawn on envelopes, toilet paper, fuel receipts and drawing apps on the go, being created into stunning reality and bringing to life the inaugural Hats by Felicity collection for New York.

Petrified is of course just one of the many emotions stitching my self each day and I have to say, I wouldn’t trade the exhilaration, excitement and thrill of the honour.  I have all intentions of doing you so proud.  Especially those who have already packed their bags to join the fun and support me at the event.

Stay tuned funstars …. and keep smiling all the way to the stage.  We are on!

x f

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