Hats off to Hey­man

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Milliner Ane´l Hey­man is slowly read­just­ing to winter.

The Palmer­ston North hat­maker has just re­turned from the north­ern hemi­sphere sum­mer, spend­ing a week with nine other women at an ex­clu­sive hat­mak­ing workshop in the south of France, and vis­it­ing the high cap­i­tal of world hat­dom, Lon­don.

‘‘It was fan­tas­tic. Per­fect,’’ Hey­man said of her ex­pe­ri­ence at Chateau Du­mas. ‘‘It was fun and re­lax­ing and cre­ative all at the same time.

‘‘We had five-star treat­ment, a pri­vate chef; the man­sion was amaz­ing, and the weather was per­fect.’’

It was her pen­chant for per­fec­tion that earned her the trip - an at­ten­tion to de­tail that epit­o­mises her ap­proach to life.

‘‘I’m very much a per­fec­tion­ist. I love things when they’re per­fect.’’

Hey­man’s place at the workshop with lead­ing UK milliner Brid­get Bai­ley was a prize for win­ning a com­pe­ti­tion con­ducted late last year by ezine HATalk.

‘‘Lan­tern’’, her eye-catch­ing piece of hand­crafted and wear­able sculp­ture, was in­spired by the chi­nese lan­tern plant, bet­ter known here as a cape goose­berry.

‘‘It’s not a fas­ci­na­tor, and not a hat - it’s a head­piece,’’ Hey­man said of the light­weight ac­ces­sory. ‘‘It’s made to be as feather-like as pos­si­ble, so you for­get about it be­ing on your head.’’

90 milliners from around the world en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion. Hey­man was the only one from New Zealand.

Mov­ing here from South Africa five years ago and with a back­ground in graphic de­sign, Hey­man fell in love with hat­mak­ing while still in her home coun­try.

It’s only re­cently that she has she taken the step of open­ing Mooinooi, a millinery and ac­ces­sories bou­tique in Ge­orge St where she mar­kets her hand- crafted head­wear and takes or­ders for be­spoke cre­ations.

Mooinooi is Afrikaans for ‘‘beautiful girl’’, and al­ready Hey­man is busy with or­ders for the rac­ing sea­son, the Melbourne Cup, and for wed­dings.

‘‘Peo­ple are com­ing to re­alise that there is a place for hats. Mil- lin­ery is slowly mak­ing a come­back.’’

Hey­man may be right on trend with hats, but trends are some­thing she has never fol­lowed.

‘‘I don’t fol­low the rules - about what sort of hat suits what shaped face; it’s all about what suits the cus­tomer,’’ she said.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Ane´l Hey­man with ‘‘Lan­tern’’, the head­wear that won first prize in an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

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