Tag Archives: Melbourne Cup

Sandfire Ash


Every Hats by Felicity creation has a story – usually involving people and places, and almost always about feathers.
In the mid 1990’s when I was working as a jillaroo on Mandora cattle station south of Broome, I was introduced to the Sandfire Roadhouse. Many of you will know Sandfire as a roadhouse where you fuelled your car, grabbed a bite to eat and continued along the great northern highway, but for us in 1996, Sandfire road house was our local drinking hole. With no towns for hundreds of kilometres north and south, for us Sandfire was more than just a fuel stop and a place to grab a pie, it was our pub.
Understandably, I was devastated when in 2007 Sandfire Roadhouse as we knew it suffered an electrical fire and burned to the ground. The roadhouse reopened with a transportable within 48 hours of the blaze and in April 2010 the roadhouse that we know today, opened, but without the bar that will now remain part of history.
If you’ve ever been to Sandfire, either then or now you would have met the friendly peacocks that roam the site and in particular the rare white peacock. Owner Ken Norton has known me since those early Mandora station days and always been a supporter of my millinery journey, and each February, when the peacocks malt their feathers, Ken collects them for me to use in my millinery creations.
It was a given that when I was chosen to showcase on the runway of New York Fashion Week that I would use these magnificent peacock feathers in my collections.
In 2015, I showcased my Spring Summer 2016 collection on the runway of my solo show with my finale’ piece honouring the white feathers of Sandfire and acknowledging the fire, with my creation aptly named “Sandfire Ash”.

No sooner had she landed from the runway of New York Fashion Week, Sandfire Ash then appeared on the Seven Network Sunrise breakfast show program, the eve before Melbourne Cup Day, 2015.



When I returned home to Broome from New York and Sydney I had a visit from Ken Norton, who wanted to purchase Sandfire Ash for his partner Dorothy. I was ecstatic. I always love to know where my creations end up and to know Sandfire Ash would be down the highway from Broome made my heart sing. Given the creation’s size was somewhat a feature, Ken also put in an order for a Mini Ash for Dorothy, that she could wear to the races.

Dorothy not only donned Mini Ash for the Broome Cup 2019 but she also wore Mini Ash to her Daughters wedding, as Mother of the bride in Ireland. 

Mother of the bride, Dorothy and Ken, Ireland 2019

Sandfire Ash

Mini Ash

Ken always said he wanted to display Sandfire Ash with the story of her journey from Sandfire Roadhouse to the runway of New York Fashion Week and true to his word, here she is.

Next time you’re driving the Great Northern Highway and pull into Sandfire Roadhouse, make sure you say Hi to Sandfire Ash (and Ken and Dorothy). 

xflic 

There’s a spring carnival in our step

It’s time this milliner got on the move again so we are packing up and heading south from Broome to Melbourne for Spring Carnival.
The Hats by Felicity collection has arrived ahead and is proudly displayed for sale at Valentino Decor in Toorak Village, Toorak.

Hats by Felicity at Valentino Decor

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Pop in and see the gorgeous Barb. Here’s a snippet of what Hats by Felicity creations are on display.

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While you are in Toorak Village check out My Powder Room next door to Valentino Decor. Adrian has produced for me and is showcasing a Hats by Felicity book of the 2013 collection. By all reports this book is super-stunning and I am so rediculously excited to see it. Valentino Decor and My Powder Room have been amazing supporters of Hats by Felicity and I can’t thank them enough.

I will be traveling with a few new creations to add to the collection so be sure to let me know if you are interested in these little treasures.

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It will be 40 degrees when I depart Broome and 16 degrees when I arrive in Melbourne. I have absolutely no idea what I will be wearing to the races.  It’s hard enough to get my head around a minimum temperature that my air conditioner doesn’t set as low as. I will be trackside at Flemington though,  at Oaks Day in particular, so be sure to holler over the crowds if you are there too.

I’ll be using the social media bush telegraph to update you on the bubbles and fun in the car park by the rails.

Please Facebook, tweet, email and text me pics if you are out and about in your Hats by Felicity during the Spring Carnival, whether you are celebrating in Melbourne, Mudgee, Broome or beyond. This year’s out and about album is shaping up to be a beauty.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to create your pieces again and I am already so proud just knowing you are out there wearing a little creation from the Kimberley.

Giddy up, good luck in the sweeps and keep smiling those rays of sunshine for perfect trackside weather.

x f