Mad Hatters
Whether you’re going for a shocking, witty or groomed look, timeless millinery pieces will add charm to any stylish wardrobe.

Rachel Eleanor Sutton

Sep 02, 2014 06:15
by Rachel Eleanor Sutton

Adorning heads from the classic cloche to the fashion-forward fedora, a true milliner brings an arsenal of ideas to the drafting table. When it comes to exquisite headgear, true hat makers don’t typically shy from the decadence of furs and feathers, but rather they embrace the glamour with added elements of fabrics and appliques to create genuine pieces of lust and wonder. Millinery is an art that speaks through quality and delicate handcraftsmanship — as we all know, even Coco Chanel’s appreciation for designing fine garments began with headpieces.

There’s just something so romantic about a beautiful hat, no? From the elegant, free-flowing silhouettes of the ’30s to the boyish lines of the ’20s, fabulous headwear has been a feminine staple since someone decided to deem fashion “fashion.” One good way to combine millinery bravura into your wardrobe is to pair your hat’s color scheme with accessories (it’s not necessary to match your clothing with your headpiece). 


Delved away in her Sydney salon/studio, Suzy O’Rourke scrupulously creates every single one of her pieces by hand. With a talented and imaginative eye for elegance and divine detail, O’Rourke showcases for appreciation for the craftsmanship and vivid nature of the art form, leaving each hat unique in its own design. She’s celebrated collaborations with Australia’s top fashion designers, stylist and photographers, not to mention, her work was exhibited as part of the Stephen Jones “Anthology of Hats” exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery. “A Suzy O'Rourke creation allows you to set yourself apart from others and express your true individual style... we invite you to dare to dream.”


The multi-award winning milliner, based out of Sydney, has been working up her namesake label since 2006, creating custom handmade race-wear and bridal headpieces, as well as fascinators, hair combs, crowns, birdcage veils, headbands and accessories. When you look at a Novak design, straight away you’re taken aback by her signature ability to create with a vintage, but modernly polished, aesthetic. Luxurious materials. Delicate details. Sparkle. Glam... It’s everything you could ask for in beautiful millinery.


There are hat makers... And then there’s Jonathan Howard. His name aligns supreme within the Australian Fashion Industry, but it doesn’t stop there. His handcrafted talents have traveled the world atop International glam-cons such as Kate Middleton, Nicole Richie, Chanel Iman and Miranda Kerr (just to name a few). You’ve probably seen his designs numerous times in your favorite glossies... Oh, and Jonathan was the first milliner to be awarded “Best Australian Fashion Accessory Designer” at the Prix de Marie Claire in 2009. Howard’s vision, execution and aptitude for groomed yet imaginative designs have made his pieces not only extremely wearable, but collectable as well.


Although Missy Jacobs’ forte lies in beautiful bride attire, her work is lovely and can be easily styled within everyday attire, too. Inspired and proudly created in her Sydney studio, Jacobs’ produces her designs by hand with luxury market standards — sourcing select, high quality materials from England and Old Europe. “Freshwater pearls, antique French and Italian laces (no longer in production), Swarovski crystals and hand dyed coq feathers all contribute to evoke the whimsical and feminine forms Missy is so well known for.”

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