Joondalup Weekender - - Residential -

The pop­u­lar­ity of head­wear has soared in re­cent years with more and more peo­ple don­ning fe­do­ras, tril­bies, boaters and sun­hats. Edge­wa­ter milliner Deb­bie Kelly, of Deb­bie Kelly Millinery, says we can thank celebri­ties like US rap­per-pro­ducer Phar­rell Wil­liams for the surg­ing trend. Here she talks to Sara Fitz­patrick about her ca­reer, styling sug­ges­tions and forth­com­ing fash­ions.

DEB­BIE’S love of millinery be­gan as a young dancer.

Head­pieces ac­com­pa­nied her cos­tumes and she adored the way they ‘capped off’ each guise.

Once she reached her late teens and be­gan at­tend­ing wed­dings, she cre­ated cock­tail hats with veil­ing to com­plete her out­fits.

When she saw three women wear­ing the same hat at a party, she knew it was her call­ing to pur­sue the pas­time as a ca­reer.

“I bought a cou­ple of hat blocks and a book on millinery and started to teach my­self – I fell in love with cre­at­ing th­ese lit­tle dar­lings,” Deb­bie said.

“It be­came a pas­sion and is now a full­time busi­ness.

“It still amazes me, when the hat has fi­nally been cre­ated, that from a flat piece of ma­te­rial comes a 3D art piece.”

What are your top tips for choos­ing the right hat?

Match the style of millinery to the style of out­fit.

Don’t be afraid to wear colour – so many opt for a

black head­piece, which is fine if it suits your out­fit.

Keep your millinery in pro­por­tion to your face and body shape.

Never as­sume hats don’t suit you – they suit ev­ery­one. Have fun with it and let your per­son­al­ity shine.

Find a pro­fes­sional milliner who can ad­vise on trends, your face shape, style to com­ple­ment your out­fit, your per­son­al­ity and how to wear the head­piece.

What trends are com­ing in? Metallics; Ha­los, leather and lace flo­ral crowns;

Bird­cage veils. What will be ‘hot’ for this com­ing Mel­bourne Cup?

The metal­lic colour trend will be seen in all types of ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing leather, straw and me­tal.

What or who in­spires your cre­ations?

My in­spi­ra­tional milliner would have to be Philip Treacy and one of his quotes is:

“Hats are the epit­ome of English­ness, and a royal wed­ding is the penul­ti­mate mo­ment for a hat de­signer. I’m Ir­ish, but I am a roy­al­ist and I be­lieve in fan­tasy.”

I agree that they are the epit­ome of English­ness but to me hats epit­o­mise el­e­gance, beauty and qual­ity, and I also be­lieve in fan­tasy – my hats give the wearer a time to dream, run away with their fan­tasies and have a beau­ti­ful but­ter­fly mo­ment.

What styles of hat do you like mak­ing and wear­ing?

My de­sign style is a touch of el­e­gance with clas­sic, sim­ple form and lines that are well bal­anced. I’m not a fan of fussy hats that have so much go­ing on you don’t know where to look.

For sum­mer I will be mak­ing a cou­ple of large brimmed straw fe­do­ras and boaters as I’ll be ready for a re­lax­ing month with soak­ing up the sun, en­joy­ing pic­nics and catch­ing up with friends af­ter a hec­tic millinery sea­son of spring rac­ing.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey­mu­ni­ d444108

Milliner Deb­bie Kelly, of Edge­wa­ter.

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