HATalk International Hat Making Competition 2020 Winner!

Hattalk International Competition 2020 Winner!

Entering a Millinery competition is a great way to help get the creative juices flowing. You’re going head to head with some great talent. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to create something without any artistic boundaries. It’s our chance to create something spectacular. There aren’t too many large competitions which are open to milliners from around the globe so I like to enter when there is one. This is only the third millinery competition I have been a part of and my strike rate hasn’t been too bad! Two years ago was the first time I entered the Myer Fashions on The Field Millinery Award during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

My stacking blocks sinamay creation made it into the top twenty. Last year, my vivid pink bonnet came second runner-up in the same competition. This year, I’ve been announced the winner of the HATalk International Hat Making Competition 2020! It’s been a thrilling journey so far since launching velvet&tonic since 2018.

Unique Millinery Design 2020

Designing millinery isn’t easy. My style is still evolving and I still haven’t found what my definable style is yet. All I know is that I’ll take forever coming up with a design I’m happy with and I won’t stop until the finished product makes my heart sing. The designs which make me happiest are the more bold and sculptural styles.

They’re all unique because I allow them to form as I play with the medium I’m using. There’s a lot of manipulation of the design before the final product is decided on. Then there’s the challenge of putting it all together so that it fits perfectly on the wearer and that it’s constructed to last. I’ve never been one to draw a design down on paper, then construct it from the drawing.

Winning a Hat Making Competition

Winning an award such as this HATalk Hat Making Competition is such an unbelievable accomplishment. Seriously, it’s a huge challenge to come up with a design which is a standout amongst so many great milliners from around the world! This was the first time I have entered this competition and I had no idea that my design would come up on top. My winning piece was something which I was so proud of, regardless if it had won or not. The win tells me that I’m doing something right and is a great driving factor for me to continue to create my wild and wonderful designs.

The amazing prize of a week of accommodation and millinery tuition at Chateau Dumas in France is a dream come true. This was something I had only dreamed of doing. It’s surreal that I’ve won the opportunity to finally head there! This trip will be something to look forward to in the following year or two when normalcy returns.

Creating something beautiful

My approach to millinery competitions is probably like everyone else’s. Create something beautiful which makes you’d be happy to wear yourself. Imagine it being worn by a model on a magazine cover, drawing gasps from all who see it. This is how my creative mind works! Some designs come to mind quickly while some may take countless hours of indecisiveness before the final design is settled on.

There have been pieces which I’ve poured hours of thought and handwork into, only to have it tossed to the side intending to come back to it someday – like the piece which was originally planned for the HATalk Hat Making Competition! I’ve learnt never to throw anything away, even if it frustrates me to no end! There have been pieces which I’ve struggled to finish and they’ve turned out so beautiful.

With the world in the world in its current state, remaining creative can be a struggle at times. Creating millinery does occupy me and brings me so much joy, regardless if nobody requires it at the moment! Beautiful millinery also brings joy to others who appreciate great design. I’ll continue to make pieces to share with you all. It’s uncertain as to whether the highly contested Myer Millinery Award will be held this year. That’s not going to stop me from planning for it with all this time on my hands right now! Designing and creating millinery will always be a welcome distraction until we’re able to roam freely again. I’m grateful for the competitions which inspire me to design.

You can find more pictures of the winning hat piece here.


Hattalk Winning Piece 2020

Hattalk 2020 Winning Millinery

Aurora - Winning Millinery - Hattalk Magazine 2020 Winning Piece by Souri Sengdara - Velvet & Tonic Millinery