A little while ago, I made one of my childhood dreams a reality – I became a designer. Because I didn’t have the patience to go to design school to learn about garment design and construction, I went into designing millinery instead. That’s not to say that millinery is easy, it’s just easier and allows me to create art.

Exclusive Melbourne Millinery

So it happens that I love to create sculptures and turn them into wearable art. Millinery is one of those crafts which allows me to indulge in my creativity. Having learnt millinery some decades ago, I had mostly created my own headwear, and some pieces for friends. Taking millinery on as a career was not a goal of mine as I had some other career paths which I wanted to pursue for a while. Better later than never! After my lovely friend, Holly Stearnes, won the Victorian title of FOFT in one of my creations – it was time to get serious about it.Exclusive Spring Racing Carnival Hats - Best trends in 2018

Millinery 2018/ 2019 Spring Racing Headpieces

Millinery for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival

Velvet&tonic was a name which came to me quite quickly. It’s a fusion of luxury and fun. If I’m not having fun with my creations, I wouldn’t bother doing it. The fun shows in my designs. Although I’m capable of blocking hats, I prefer to sculpt my headpieces. Sculpting (sometimes using blocks) gives each piece some individuality. No two pieces are exactly the same. Each piece is thoughtfully designed and hand-stitched with love. They are timeless pieces which you’ll want to wear over and over. When you’re tired of them, pass them on (or sell them) to the next person for them to enjoy.

Spring Racing Carnival 2018 2019 Hats for FTOF 2018/2019

Hand made millinery –  Millinery Awards 2018

Having only just recently launched my first collection, I was completely overwhelmed to have been selected as an entrant in the millinery competition on Kennedy Oaks day this year. It’s such an honour to be included amongst some of Australia’s best milliners. As exciting as it is, it’s also a little nerve-racking to have to come up with a masterpiece which will impress. Gladly, I’ve started on my competition entry to give myself time to get it done. I’ll probably change my mind between now and the competition day, but I have time up if I choose to. It’s just so exciting to be part of it all.

Because I’m so excited to have my millinery collection out there to share with you all, I felt generous and designed a special monochrome piece to give away to one lucky follower of velvet&tonic. Make sure you check it out and enter the competition! There’s only a couple of days left to enter!

For those still looking for a statement piece of millinery for the Melbourne Cup Carnival, head over to velvet&tonic  and take a look at some of my beautiful pieces which are still available.

Melbourne Millinery


All millinery by velvet&tonic.