Labassa Mansion, hidden in a cul-de-sac in Caulfield North (Melbourne), has re-opened to the public and did it in style, opening its doors in collaboration with the MIMC (Melbourne Millinery Competition). The theme for this year’s millinery competition was “Little Black Dress”. The Chapeaux and Champagne team (which I’m part of) and our millinery loving friend dressed up for the occasion and went along to check out all of the beautiful works of the millinery on display. None of our creations made it into the top 20, but we were excited to see all the other beautiful designs.

The Melbourne International Millinery Competition (MIMC) drew in approximately 80 entrants from all over the world this year. Milliners had to design a piece suitable for their “Little Black Dress” theme. Due to restrictions, we were not able to enjoy the grand finale event, which normally takes place to announce the winner. Some of the millinery was put on display at Labassa, a very fitting venue for all that creativity.

Picture Perfect Mansion

Labassa Mansion was somewhere I have been meaning to get to, being a wedding and events photographer. It was a great opportunity to head over and look at this outstanding historic venue which is quite a popular venue for weddings and other small events. One room has a stage, which has been used for filming t.v shows. After the visit, I’m very keen to photograph an event there! There are so many great photography spots within and around Labassa Mansion.

A Grand Mansion in Melbourne

Labassa was built around 1863 to 1890. This French Renaissance-style mansion is one of Australias’s grandest nineteenth-century buildings. From the outside, the Corinthian columns and the arcaded verandas are an impressive feature at the entrance. Marble ornaments and decorations are found around the verandah. Through the front door, a sweeping staircase leading up to an impressive stained glass window is an opulent feature of this grand mansion.

Throughout Labassa Mansion, the ornate interior includes mahogany panels, gilded and embossed wallpaper, painted ceilings and intricate carvings which adorn the fireplaces, walls and ceilings. The furniture is elegant and reflective of the French Renaissance period. This venue is perfect for an elegant or vintage themed wedding. They have held vintage themed events in this mansion as well.

Labassa was home to some of Melbourne’s elite until 1920. After that, it was divided into units, housing some fascinating and eccentric bohemian and artistic residents. Wondering through the mansion, we can get a taste of the rich history surrounding the lifestyles of those who inhabited it throughout the mid-twentieth century.

Millinery Designs 2021

Being the only milliners during our visit, we took so much time just appreciating all the designs that we forgot to have a good look around the mansion! Luckily, we were given a guided tour of the mansion. This gave us a bit of an insight into the history of this beautiful building. It was nice to see three young ladies, all dressed up in vintage style enjoying the tour with us. Being a lover of romantic architecture, I was right in my element wandering through Labassa.

Unfortunately for us, there was no cafe on site otherwise we would have stayed there all day! We all headed to a cafe nearby for coffees, cakes and a good chat about all things millinery.

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