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Emerging Milliners at Kangan Institute Millinery Soiree 2014

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It's always an exciting time of year on the millinery calendar in Melbourne, when hat making activity is well along the arc of manic crescendo leading up to Spring Racing Carnival, and needles are being threaded at a rate far exceeding any other time of year (and when the rate of thumb injuries increase tenfold!). But there is possibly no occasion that induces such a heady mix of excitement and panicked sewing than the annual Kangan Institute Millinery Soiree in Melbourne, which showcases the work of the upcoming milliners studying there. 

Previously this has been delivered under the watchful eye of the late, great milliner Paris Kyne, who was always such an integral part of proceedings, but hats-off to the students and tutors - milliners Melissa Jackson, Serena Lindeman and Rose Hudson, who pulled-off an event no doubt Paris would have been happy with, especially as the French theme of this year's event "Le Chapeau" gave a little nod to his favourite city. 

Chairman of the Millinery Association of Australia, Phillip Rhodes kicked-off proceedings with a humorous and candid talk on his experiences in the millinery industry and the challenges that students should expect to face in their endeavours on the way to success. It was great to hear such a frank, real and fascinating insight into a millinery career, one that has clearly seen plenty of good stories!  

The catwalk show is always a highlight of the night and where the millinery really comes to life. There were some stunning headwear examples demonstrating superb blocking, trimming, wirework, flat pattern making skills as well as fantastic creative flair. But it's also good to see how that creativity is channelled into the student's display tables, as it's through these that we start to see millinery identities emerge. The real stand out tables for us were those of Olivia Schwarz, Paulina Proimos and Lys Stevens, but there were many other highly commendable displays. 

Award winners on the night received generous prizes kindly donated by Torb & Reiner, Blocks by Design, The Total Package and The House of Adorn, and included:

Certificate II Display: Justine Cunningham

Certificate III Display: Jenna Goad

Certificate IV Display: Olivia Schwarz

Flat Pattern Prize: Chantelle Lauder-Taylor

Creativity Award: Olivia Schwarz

Technical Excellence Award: Paulina Proimos

Soiree Award: Katherine Cherry

Millinery Association of Australia Award: Loretta Beattie 

It was a really fantastic night, with some excellent millinery on show. It's always particularly interesting to see what the Certificate IV students are developing as that final year of study is really when skills are honed and millinery voices start to emerge, and there were a few voices we can't wait to hear more of...  

So congratulations to everyone involved, we look forward to next year!


The crowd await in anticipation 

Millinery Association of Australia Chairman Phillip Rhodes giving a fabulous speech

We have a bit of a thing for flamingos so couldn't help but get a bit excited by this fabulous wire creation by Allyson Handley 

Not sure who to credit this fabulousness with, but the orange with the black/white graphic is really striking

So eye-catching, and totally on theme! Great work from prize winner Loretta Beattie 

We have a lot of love for this fantastic piece by Lys Stevens

What a stunning piece by Paulina Proimos

Award winner, the very talented Olivia Schwarz with Waltraud Reiner of Torb & Reiner

We love bows and pink + black combos, so this one by Irene Moore is a winner!

A cute little hat from Katherine Cherry 

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