I see New Zealand fashion as something that’s forever evolving and recently, I’ve seen what I describe as ‘wearable art’ becoming more mainstream, which I love. Basically, anyone that is a designer creates art – from milliners and jewellery designers to knitters – and people seem to be embracing this ethos more and more.
Havoc is the right word! What I have seen with my repeat customers is that they want to return with statements. They want big, interesting, editorial-style headwear and, after two years of being in lockdown, they want to enter the room and be seen.
People can absolutely wear hats every day. During lockdown I created more mainstream pieces like unisex fedoras and leather berets. The leather berets were a great success with most heading over to New York clients.
I also noticed a real shift to people wanting sustainable, ‘slow fashion’ in their everyday wardrobe; a piece they will have for years that will age with them and get better with time.
Hmm this one’s tricky. Winning the Millinery Award at Flemington’s Oaks Day was spectacular. But every day I get new reasons to be proud. In the last week both Cartier and Harper’s Bazaar have reached out (pinch me moments!), but I am also so proud to receive a message from a client to say that her hat is amazing and it has just won fashions on the field at her local raceday.
Good old Kiwi ingenuity keeps me going as I always want to try something new. The last couple of years have been tricky, as usually travel and being out and about helps to inspire a direction. Instead this year I worked on things that I simply wanted to make to see what would happen!
Absolutely! I believe that our “have a go” attitude and tendency to not take no for an answer is a strength. During my early days in millinery a teacher said to me “most won’t survive in this industry” which to me sounded like a challenge – so I worked to prove her wrong. My main piece of advice to others is to have a go and believe in yourself.