Melbourne Milliner @ velvet&tonic

I feel like my millinery career has just begun. I won the prestigious Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2022. I’m so proud of this achievement. There are so many great milliners vying for this award, so to win it is quite an accomplishment.

The award was re-named in honour of the late Lillian Frank. She was a Melbourne icon, a philathropist, and she loved to wear bold and beautiful hats. Lillian was also a friend of Flemington.

My long-standing love of millinery has paved the way to where I am. I’ve been wearing and creating millinery for a very long time. I started my velvet&tonic label a few years ago, creating luxurious headpieces for lovers of racing fashion. Velvet&tonic is a fusion of luxury and fun. I’m always experimenting with Jinsin – my favourite medium. I have learned millinery techniques from different tutors, but everything I do with Jinsin has been self-taught. It is a material with endless design possibilties and allows me to sculpt my works of wearable art.

Since winning the millinery award, I decided that I only want to create works of wearable art. I want to design bold statement pieces that starts conversations and evoke emotions. Love it or hate it, I want people to talk about and think about my designs. 

My creations are aimed to be gender-fluid styles. These designs are to be worn by anyone, regardless of their gender. My creations look stunning on women, but men can look just as good wearing them!

With fast-fashion being a huge problem, I aim to create styles that will stand the test of time. My works of art will be pieces that you will want to keep forever. They are pieces that are designed from the heart and created with love. I want to design pieces which makes this word more beautiful!

Each piece has a story to tell. The inspiration for my work comes from life and emotions. I only design and make pieces when inspiration hits me. Inspiration could come from a life event, or an individual.

My dream is to have my works of art displayed in an art gallery. Follow my journey if you’re a lover of wearable art.

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