Tag Archives: Milliner on the move

Madhattan

I’ve been somewhere I’ve never been before and that’s in front of a movie camera! Yes, there’s a documentary in the making and I’m in it. In fact, it’s about me, although it really feels like it’s about someone else. IMG_0320 I feel honoured for the opportunity; however, with my fear of public speaking, being in front of a camera hasn’t come naturally. The producer tells me I’ve become much more relaxed but she’s also a very kind person. So, what’s this all about? Well in a nutshell and soon to be released trailer, the story is about my creative journey to my first solo Hats by Felicity show at New York Fashion week but more so the story is about innovation, community and following your dreams; all things you know I am passionate about. Stage one of filming is complete (phew) and from that footage you will soon see a snippet, so stay tuned.

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With producer and super camera woman Caro and sound editor Craig

Apart from camera’s rolling, the Milliner has been on the move again, this time to Liveringa cattle station in the West Kimberley, for a fabulous evening at the historic old Liveringa homestead. IMG_8192 Ladies from nearby stations and from Derby and Broome frocked up for a night of hats and giggles on the homestead veranda from sunset. IMG_0206 IMG_0215 IMG_8171 I love these events. It’s from such remote locations that some women try a headpiece for the very first time, which is often when the addiction begins. IMG_8168 I love it when that one person gets the crowd moving and tries the first hat. The oooh’s and ahhh’s make my day. Usually I have only seen my creations on a foam head or on my own head, so I encourage people to try them on for my enjoyment just as much as their own and those who’ve gathered around. I love seeing how differently people position a piece on their head. I always say with my creations, “there are no rules”. I also love watching how a hat or headpiece can change a woman’s demeanour, her stance, how she holds herself, looks at her self – a hat can instantly create a confidence and release a personality. This goes for men wearing hats too. A man’s presence can strengthen; his shoulders move back and confidence grow when he puts on his hat. A hat can command instant respect and for some, their identity is their hat. 478571-ian-amp-034-molly-amp-034-meldrum article-2611723-1D48D2DE00000578-5_634x609

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Local Broome identity and friend Baamba

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My DAFWA work colleagues with their new Sunbody cowboy hats

Wearing hats, coming together for events, catching up with friends and meeting new people are all so important when you live remotely. The Milliner on the move adventures are always such a joy because we get to indulge all of the above and more. IMG_8341 IMG_0297 IMG_0277 IMG_0304 IMG_0319 IMG_0309 It’s our Ladies Day and Cup day in August and the commissions for bespoke creations have been plenty. Prior to these prestigious events though, it’s my 2015 collection unveil at the Broome Turf Club and Corporate cup race day Friday 24th July. I am in the final stages of preparation for this collection and event. And believe me; I get as nervous on my local stage as the big one in NYC! Speaking of which, the countdown is now less than two month’s till the Hats by Felicity NYFW show! I better get back into that shed! IMG_0227 Have a wonderful day and a belly laugh with a friend. Xf quotes-1461

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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.

Cable Beach Broome

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

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

A Sun Kissed Valentine

Twelve months ago today I experienced a very different kind of Valentine’s Day, enduring the first of two surgeries to remove the nasty melanoma from my arm.  Melly-the-noma as the legion was known was the beginning of an adventure that I could have never predicted.  But here we are, 12 months on, healthy, sporting a scar and preparing for the runway of New York.

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February 2014

“How are the preparations going?” many have asked.  Well, I’m slowly getting over the creator’s block that unexpectedly snuck in and so far, the timetable seems to be working.  I have completed six pieces in total since the New Year, not all bound for New York but I definitely deem a few worthy of the trip.

And I can’t help myself – I have to share a few sneak peeks with you …

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February in Broome is not the ideal time to be working in a tin shed.  I usually don’t start the year’s creating until it’s less humid and hot but given this year’s New York deadline, the studio shed lights are on.

I have arranged for the tin doors to be replaced, which will not only help the struggling air conditioner to cope but will provide me with some glorious natural light. The glass doors haven’t arrived yet but hopefully soon.

Not working in my normal environment isn’t conducive to productivity.  I’ve been working in my house, trekking to and from the shed, sometimes just for a thimble.  Fingers crossed the new doors arrive soon and this milliner can be on the move back into the shed atelier.

My New York story is generating media interest with journalists from all over dropping me a line; there’s even a film crew sniffing about.  Of course I am completely out of my depth with this. I am used to interviewing and being on the viewfinder side of the camera, so I have yelled (loudly and with a quiver) for help from a very experienced and treasured friend, to whom I can tell I am about to be indebted forever.

Feathers and other goodies have been coming in from around Australia, for which I say the biggest thank you.  I love hand collected feathers, not only for their natural beauty but for the chapter they add to the unique story of each headpiece.

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You will always here me praise my amazing friends and this post is no exception.  A cheeky group of buddies from both within and external to the Broome Community have been quietly organising an event in my honour, to celebrate the impending New York Fashion Week honour.  Of course they aren’t being forward with too many details but I’m told patience is the virtue so I’m waiting very patiently!

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The Kimberley has been enjoying such a big Wet season.  Plants in my garden are flowering that I didn’t know even flowered.  The inspiration is endless.

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As well as creating the collection, my current focus is my health, especially given the diagnosis twelve months ago.  I have completed a seven day detox to cleanse the internals and get back on track.   I find February a good time to successfully achieve this often quite difficult task.  By this time the New Year celebrations have subsided and my favourite Australia Day and its associated silliness has come and gone.

And of course there’s no better exercise than a morning walk along Cable Beach.

So, as I head for my six monthly skin check, I encourage any of you with sun kissed skin like mine to book your appointment too.

Till next time … Valentine giggles all round.

x Felicity

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York …
Happy New Year beautiful people! I hope 2014 is everything that you dream for and is filled with health, friends, family, giggles, bubbles and fun.
This is going to be a big year for me, especially with the New York adventure and many have hinted how super organised I’ll need to be. Truth is, every year is bigger than the last, so I thought I’d share with you how I prepare for the onslaught.
My favourite way to start the New Year is by making plans, so the first purchase for 2014 was a wall planner and diary. For a brief moment I thought this would be the year to rid the hard copy and shift to technology but that was a brief moment that I decided against, as there’s no nicer way to start the year than with a gorgeous new diary to pencil in your holiday plans, work, business and other commitments and daily jobs lists, ready to tick off as you achieve.
I choose a colourful diary with soft textured cover; something that looks good and feels good, which is all very important. This year’s colour is the Roebuck Bay green that I always strive to achieve in my creations.
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Holidays and weekend get-a-ways are the first entries in my calendar, followed by my small business commitments and then work. The latter is the easiest as I work full time so it’s a given that Monday to Friday will be spent at work, along with some overnight’s in the region. It’s the before and after work and weekend entries that I spend time planning.
The first entry on the planner and diary this year was, of course, New York.         In September this Milliner will be on the move to the United States for what will undoubtedly be the adventure of a lifetime. Sunday September 7th has a feather attached to it being the day I unveil Hats by Felicity to the world on the runway at New York Fashion week.
S H U D D E R ….

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To make sure I survive the year’s challenges, I put into practice the self-care plan. Those that know me well, know I take the self-care plan very seriously. Since early 2000 I have implemented my Monday nights – the sacred night that is dedicated to me. Flic nite as it’s affectionately known to friends and family, is the night I politely say no to all invitations; the night I am completely comfortable in doing nothing. Lucky for me Monday can often be a good TV line up. It’s also the night that my close friends and family phone for a yarn. Sometimes I book a massage or facial. It’s about stopping to smell the frangipanis, enjoy my space and reenergise. We live in such a busy world filled with food, bubbles, work and play that without jumping off the coaster at least one night a week, for me at least, the chances of burn out are big. Those closest to me completely respect my Monday nights and never pressure or expect me to make the exception.

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Although quite passive compared to others, the next entry is the exercise plan. My exercise program usually involves alternate mornings of gardening and beach walks before work. These forms of exercise are great for the body and the mind AND for inspiration for millinery creation.
Those that follow my Hats by Felicity Instagram are often privy to my morning shots of inspiration, particularly from Cable Beach. Broome and the Kimberley are endless sources of inspiration.

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The self care plan and exercise program are diarised along with dedicated timeframes for my passion and art that is the Millinery.
Taking on full time work meant a very real need for planning. It’s such a pleasure to spend Saturday’s working for yourself, which is my dedicated day for Hats by Felicity. When the Broome race round commences I may need to start a little earlier on Saturday mornings however, as I can’t miss a day at Broome races.
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Equally as important to all the above is dedicating time to the cancer cause with fundraising and catching up for bubbles and fun with my awesome friends.
With commitments to holidays, getaways, my self-care plan, work, millinery, fundraising, friends and fun, I look forward to filling the remaining spaces with whatever opportunities come my way.
Having a plan is important to me but I also like to remain flexible because you just never know what opportunities might come your way. I am not too hard on myself if my plan diverts (with the exception of Flic nite), after all we can’t forget that life is for living.
To bounce out of bed of a morning I have set my alarm to wake me with Alicia Keys singing Empire State of Mind. With a year like this ahead, it can only be a good day waking to the chorus of New York, New York, New York …
So there you have it, a snippet into my kick start for 2014. If any of these ideas appeal to you, please take a feather from my hat. My other advice is surround yourself with positive and loyal people who celebrate the excitement of your dreams.
Cheers and Happy 2014. x f

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,
New York

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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