Tag Archives: Jewels of the Kimberley

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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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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