Tag Archives: Kimberley Girl

Should’ve packed my beanie!

While it was certainly time for me to pack the bag, board the plane and make my way out of WA – arriving into Melbourne at midnight, into a polar storm was certainly not in the plan.

The wind literally blew my phone out of my hand and across the road that I was trying to cross as my bags blew in different directions and my hair whipped my face.

Welcome to Victoria they said!

Thank goodness Susan was on the end of that far flung phone and found me amongst the chaos, and we high-tailed it out of the storm to Geelong. 

A day later the temperature still hadn’t risen so we celebrated the Melbourne Cup at a private (heated) event hosted by Elizabeth and PJ on their nearby farm. The theme was Melbourne Cup yellow and in true Variety Bash style we donned many an outfit change (mine a multitude of layers); joined by none other than our own cardboard selves.

After all, doesn’t everyone have their own cardboard cut-out, – ready for rent-a-crowd.

Next we girls were on the first of my many road trips, to the historic town of Yackandandah, where I was invited to take part in a fashion parade event showcasing my millinery alongside the clothing range of Vivienne Cate, a simply delightful store owned by our gorgeous friend Karen.

We girls are known to combine work with travel, with play, – with our reunions, and for this catchup we stayed in a beautifully restored bank building, https://www.ashlarstays.com.au/copy-of-ashlar-on-high nestled in the heart of Yackandandah, hosting the fashion parade in the stunning backyard gardens. 

Halfway through the parade, of course – another storm scuttled us into an intimate second half on the veranda. 

Before my Broome departure, I had seriously forgotten what it was like to be cold. Karen has clothed me to survive these endless chilly days and nights – and thankfully so, because I’ve been freezing since the day I flew out. 

The next road trip was with Karen to Mazza in Yarrawonga, through historic townships and wineries, even twisting our rubber arms for a ‘crisp white’ along the way.

And my trip to Albury was by regional tour with the awesome Mazza herself. This was my first exposure to the confronting rising flood levels of Vic and NSW. 

I boarded the flight out of Vic to Sydney and on to Dubbo, to my dear friend Em of Em Menzies Art.  

Our road trip the next day was literally out to the back of Bourke, to “Salt Lake” Station where once upon a time I was a governess; and included a visit to “Emaroo”- the last Station on the road – where Em grew up and where the inspiration for her ‘girls’ art was born. 

The trip out to Emaroo was also to visit a recent resting place, a memorial for Em’s father and brother, who both passed away separately during the height of covid. Unable to travel to be with Em and our friends during that time, I’ve struggled to come to terms with Scotty’s passing, so particularly this part of our trip out west was filled with emotion, for us both.

The artist and the milliner were awed by the beautiful wildflowers, the green pick was a multitude of grasses and that red soil, – so familiar to a now Kimberley girl; and I’d never seen so much water out there. 

I was a 19 year old when I was a governess at Salt Lake. The kid’s dad would climb the windmill daily and tell us “big rain coming bunge”, which it never did, because we were in drought. 

To now see this country so wet and green was quite spectacular, with inspiration as far as the eye could see; a stunning landscape of colour, nestled into that rich red soil.

We had the ultimate tour guides – Tegan, Jack and kids, – Jack being one of the kids I taught way back then, and we made it safely back to Dubbo before more rain and the water traveled down river and closed the road. 

Back in Dubbo, I was treated to a paint and sip class with Em, painting the adventure on the canvas – and wholla! – I introduce you to my attempt at painting – entitled “Salt Lake Soak” and some inspiration for my next millinery collection.

I’m now in Central Western New South Wales with my family, surrounded by their flowering and edible gardens.

I’ve grown up knowing home as drought country but to see all this grass and flora is quite amazing. I’m constantly inspired, not to mention filled with energy from being with my friends and family. 

As you know I am passionate about rural and remote Australia and about designing collections of Millinery that truly reflect our beautiful regional land. 

My Mardi Gras millinery collection will be first to showcase, in February 2023, followed by a race wear release in May. I’ve been designing whilst away and will create when I return to Broome.

While I’m Milliner on the Move, my current collections of millinery are on show and available for sale at Cygnet Bay Pearls Showroom in Broome, WA and Vivienne Cate, Yackandandah, Vic so get in touch with these fabulous outlets if you’re looking to purchase your Hats by Felicity headpiece or hat.

Modelled by the team at Cygnet Bay Pearls

These and more available for sale at https://www.cygnetbaypearlfarm.com.au/

I have a small collection of my retail range everyday straw hats with me, and don’t forget, there’s always the handy gift voucher for you or for that special Christmas gift – available from my online store.

For gift vouchers click https://hatsbyfelicity.com.au/

My heart is full, my cup is full, I’m surrounded by friends and family that I’ve missed dreadfully over these past three + years, and my creativity has returned. 

The power of travel – so very important, especially for this Milliner on the Move.

Merry Festive season, keep smiling and I’ll check in again soon.

x Felicity (Flic)

Milliner on the Move 🙂

Introducing Archipelago

Last week I flew over the majestic horizontal waterfalls of the Buccaneer Archipelago and from the moment we entered the King Sound my inspiration and creativity had retuned. The Kimberley never fails me.

Previously, I’d been trying to design a millinery collection on the back of a somewhat traumatic week and the process was proving difficult, my mojo just wasn’t there. Any creative will tell you that losing the mojo is quite normal, it’s finding it again that’s the challenge. Immersing myself in the breathtaking environment of my backyard, the Kimberley, is my key to unlock the block. Give me the red dirt and rocks of this rugged frontier, the stunning ocean country of water holes and white sandy beaches, the bush, the falls, the pindan sand, the sunsets and the sunrise .. just throw it all at me and then it’s ‘Whamo – Inspo’! – just like that.

When the opportunity presented to jump onboard a half day flight over the Horizontal Falls I was beside myself with excitement and in true eager form, early to the hanger for departure. I’ve experienced the Falls a few times over the years but this particular timing was with our King Spring tides and I knew the Falls would be at their best.

Roebuck Bay was completely empty when we taxied out from Broome and over the Bay, but nothing prepared me for how we’d find the Buccaneer Archipelago; it was like mother nature had pulled the plug and instead of hundreds of islands, there were literally thousands, for as far as the eye could see, and of course the Falls were absolutely magnificent – I was in pure awe, once again .

My love affair with this region began in 1997, when I lived and worked on a boat on a pearl farm in the remote, Gerald Bay. We flew to work on a sea plane, landing in the Bay in front of our mother ship, the Cossack Pearl. I’d spend ten days living on the boat and working on the pearl farm, chipping shell and cooking for the crew and then fly back to Broome for our four days off. I was living the absolute dream.

The Cossack Pearl

Driving the shell cleaning boat

Over the years since those crazy pearling days I have returned to the region on private charters and with organised tours, adventuring onboard boats and planes and I just can’t get enough of the place. The Buccaneer Archipelago is magical, filled with colour and movement and life.

Last week’s adventure was with Fly Broome by light aircraft over the archipelago, king sound and the spectacular Horizontal Falls, landing at Cape Leveque for breakfast and a glorious swim in the ocean. I also toured the region earlier this year with Go Horizontal Falls a cruise adventure through the archipelago by boat from cockatoo island taking us through the Falls and circling us over them on the flight home from Cockatoo to Broome. From both magnificent tours I returned overflowing with inspiration and with complete happiness. I feel so connected to this part of the world and never take it’s beauty for granted, nor the positive effect that immersing in the Kimberley has on me, the emotions it stimulates are exactly what I needed to get designing for this show.

Dampier Creek Broome

Willie Creek

Cape Leveque

Water rushing into Horizontal Falls

The Horizontal Falls

I created my beautiful Archipelago inspired collection incorporating stunning silks from local fellow creative, Sally Bin Demin, and my eight piece collection was showcased by the gorgeous finalists of the development program for young indigenous women, “Kimberley Girl” at the program’s finale event.

I am so proud to be involved in this event and I am thrilled with the collection.

My adventures to the Archipelago and Horri Falls overflowed me with inspiration to create and it is with great excitement and pride, that I formally introduce you to my eight piece Millinery collection aptly named “Archipelago”.

For more details including stories and prices to purchase the pieces which are now officially available for sale, please visit www.hatsbyfelicity.com.au .

For more information on the above mentioned Archipelago adventures click the links and tell them the Mad Hatter sent you.

Keep smiling and don’t forget to tour your own backyard.
x flic

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