Millinery From the Outside

Posted by Barbara Richardson on

I have heard words like buckram, hat blocks, sinamay and cobweb weave, but as an outsider do not know what they do or what they mean to a Milliner.  I am watching and learning how you can take and use these materials and with love and patience turn them into wondrous one-off pieces of art which are fashion.  

I have watched as Brenda takes a piece of bland, white, rough feeling material, wets it with plain water, then patiently and lovingly moulds it over an original hand-crafted wooden hat block, which is a piece of art in itself.  Once dry this hardened piece of buckram without a wrinkle in sight  is now a shape that fits on a head but needs much more tweaking and creativity on the part of the creator to become a piece of art.   Apparently you can skip this step and start with a base already shaped and stiffened, but Brenda often chooses to create something from nothing, or the raw materials which seem like nothing.  Meanwhile… I await with wonder to see the finished products.

Our new LilyM Hat Room on the Sunshine Coast is much more than just a room, it is a place where you can sit and shape buckram… or use jewels and pearls to create tiaras.  It has been lovingly filled with trinkets and treasures which glitter and sparkle from our new but old shop front display cabinet, along with rows of tubs containing bases, guipure lace, cobweb weave, feathers and other embellishments that I don’t know the names of yet.  Brenda has surrounded herself with the tools and materials to create art which you can wear … and is excited to share her skills with those that would do the same.

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