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Updated: May 9, 2022


A fitting theme for this year’s 2018 HATalk Hat Making Competition! I’m still pinching myself after being named the overall winner and cannot wait to represent Australia at London Hat Week in a few weeks time. The aim of the competition was to create an original hat or headpiece using the concept of Fusion, a theme that could be defined and interpreted in any number of ways.

  • The challenge

If there’s one thing a milliner loves its the opportunity to bring life to all those abstract thoughts & designs that are on continuous rotation within their mind. The interpretation of an abstract theme can showcase the design and creativity of a milliners work.

  • Fusion

The process of combining two or more distinct entities into a new spirit of the Fusion theme, the brief was to highlight two distinct branches of the hat Making either – Traditional or Modern – celebrating both individually while also acknowledging that is was possible bringing the two disciplines together to create new and exciting possibilities for artistic expression.

  • Imagination knows no boundaries

There were no restrictions on the materials or techniques that you could use or the size of hat or headpiece that you can enter.

  • Judges tip their hat to the high standard

“Wow, what a competition – I think it’s the best I have ever seen! The standard of the entries has been so high that the places have been hard to decide. In the Traditional Category, I was looking for the clean lines, no visible stitching or untidy finishes. Then construction and support of structure and design.

In the Modern Category, to see the variety and use of modern smart fabrics has been a breath of fresh air, I am very hopeful for the future of hat making. Well done all!”

Denise Innes-Spencer – The British School of Millinery

  • New meets old

This headpiece is made with a non-traditional approach using ancient materials and craftsmanship such as waxed paper and gilding techniques. The concept demonstrates the theme of fusion beautifully. Sandy has shown that paper can work as well as fabric to form an aesthetically pleasing shape for a headdress. The accuracy of the pleating and neat finish show solid workmanship.

  • Trip of a lifetime

Wow! I am so thrilled to have won a trip of a lifetime to Chateau Dumas in France as the overall prize of the HATalk competition. This prize includes one week Residential Millinery Workshop. I am looking forward using my artistic freedom and advancing my millinery to perfection!

Make sure you’re following me on Instagram and Facebook if you want an insiders look into London Hat Week.


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