Thursday, February 16, 2012

International Millinery Forum 2012--part 3

This will be my last post about the International Millinery Forum, held in Australia, in mid-January.  I've posted two other entries about IMF, which you can find by scrolling down this page.  This post?  Gala, more from the dyeing class, and some Sydney shopping.

This post is mostly about the finale Gala, held the evening of the last day of IMF.  I've attended the last two IMF Galas and this one was by far the classiest and most fun...not that the others weren't nice.  But this one had everything--luxurious venue, great entertainment, hat contest, and more.

Firstly, the theme of the Gala was My Fair Lady, and let me tell you, there were some amazing ensembles that night.  Many wore hats they had created during the week of classes.

Me with Hong Kong milliner Jaycow.  She taught a class last IMF but was there as a delegate this time.  She is the ONLY milliner in Hong Kong!

Doug Osbourne, of, looking natty.  He made those swell hatblocks you saw in post #1 from the Trade Expo.  Also, the amazing Jean Carroll!  Check out the hat she created!  Jean has done theatrical millinery for decades and it shows, doesn't it?

Check out Neil Grigg (Sydney) and Lina Stein (Ireland).  If you follow Lina on Facebook you will note that her hat is made from that brim block that is lusted after all over the world...and I told her so.

IMF head honcho--Linda Tillman.  Linda works so very hard to make everything run smoothly and, indeed, it does!  Thanks, Linda, for all your hard work.  You are a miracle worker!!

Eugenie Van Oirschott, Jenny Phanenstiel, friend of Jenny's, and myself.  Note Eugenie's hat...sooo intricately made.  Jenny made hers in Eugenie's class.  Fabulous!

Shot of my millinery instructor from years ago, Waltraud Reiner of Torb and Reiner, and fellow USA instructor Eia Radosavljevic who teaches millinery at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jasmin Zorlu (L) and Rosie Boylin (R).  Jasmin is a San Francisco milliner (and USA instructor at IMF), and Rosie is a theatrical milliner who has made hats for Moulin Rouge, The Piano, and numerous other movies, stage and TV.  She went to the Gala as Eliza Doolittle!  Love it!

Love this 'birdcage' hat from Wagga Wagga IMF instructor, Pam Martin.  Spectacular!

Louise McDonald, who made hats for the fashionable and hat-centric series 'House of Elliot,'  and Eia--my tablemates at the Gala. When I lived in Australia 'House of Elliot' was on TV.  I sat, mesmerized, with a sketchbook in my hand each week,  I was so taken with the hats...and clothes.  If you've never seen it...find it and watch!

My host family, Kim and Scott!  They are the nicest people, and SO.MUCH.FUN!!

By the end of the evening, when all tutors were called to the stage for pictures, we were feeling pretty good. :-)  L to R--Lina Stein, Pam Martin, Carol Maher, me, Kerrie Stanley, Serena Lindeman, Neil Grigg, Waltraud Reiner, Rosie Boylan, and there are MORE tutors that aren't in this picture.

Below--a few pictures of delegates in great hats and ensembles.  Enjoy!


Below are a few pictures of the beautiful Olivari farm where I stayed with Kim and Scott.  Their farm is about 10 miles out of Wagga and it was spectacular.  Last IMF Wagga was in a very bad drought, but this year things were pretty green.

Every afternoon this bird came and groomed itself outside my bedroom window.  I wanted to make pictures of the cockatoos and parrots that swooped and cackled from daybreak to sunset everyday...but they were way to flighty for the camera.  I LOVE Australian birds!  They make the most incredible sounds!!!

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know I am obsessed by sunrises and sunsets.  This was was outside my bedroom window at about 11 at night!

After I left Wagga, I returned to Sydney for a couple of days before going back to the US.  When the plane arrived in Sydney, carrying most IMF people, it was pouring rain.  I made it to my hotel in Paddington, and as soon as I got checked into my hotel on Oxford Street, I made my way to the Paddington Market, which I had been told last IMF, that I was not to miss.  Well, I did miss it last time but not this!  I found some incredible deals on a kangaroo leather belt for my husband, a necklace for my Mom, the most amazing pair of vintage sunglasses for myself, and some happies for the ladies to keep the shop while I'm off teaching in the far regions of the Earth.

The next day, my last full one in Australia, I went in search of the fabulous boutiques and up-and-coming designer shops of Oxford and William Streets in Paddington.  I can't even describe the luscious lines of clothing and accessories I saw there, but I will tell you that if you are ever in that section of Sydney you MUST do William Street.

There must be at least a hundred tiny but intensely wonderful boutiques on William Street.  I was totally in awe!

Milliner Neil Grigg is lucky enough (well, I don't know if lucky is the right word because of his well-rounded millinery talents) to have his lovely shop on William Street. 

And a shoemaker--um, cordwainer!  I've taken some shoemaking classes in my time, it is something I wish I had time to pursue, and I can so appreciate what goes into making a shoe for someone!  Yikes!

Seriously, if my shop were on this street I'd be constantly inspired and maybe even intimidated!  So much talent in a concentrated area!  But I have a feeling that each pulls the other along the creativity continuum.

On the morning of my last day I spent some time walking around the neighborhood.  Just around the corner from my Oxford Street hotel I found this millinery name but some great hats.  Anybody in Sydney know who might be around the corner from The Arts Hotel?  Nice find!

Oh, one more serendipitous happening.  While in Sydney, before IMF, I went to a number of shops down by the harbor.  I happened to mention that I was going to the millinery forum, to which the owner of one show said, "I have some vintage millinery supplies I bought decades ago that you might like.  I can have them here for you when you get back to Sydney."  YES!

Vintage straw braid, straw CLOTH, eyelash horsehair, and other niceties.

No way you find this stuff anymore, except in crazy circumstances like this.

OK, below, a few more pictures from my Dyeing To Make Hats classes.  So many beautifully shaded straws to make hats from, that I just had to add a few more for you to enjoy.

So long for now!  Happy hatmaking to you all!  And start saving your pennies for IMF 2014!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

International Millinery Forum--Part 2

Ready for another post about the International Millinery Forum in Australia?  I've decided to post another two entries about my experiences in Australia, and particularly IMF.  This is post #2...scroll down the page for post #1. Post #3 coming up in the next week or so.

OK!  Last post I left you after the fabulous opening cocktail party.  Early the next morning, a Monday, we began classes for the approximately 200 delegates.  Each tutor (instructor) taught 3 full day classes and 2 half-day classes.  My full day class was entitled Dyeing to Make Hats--taught on Mon, Thursday and Friday; my 2 half-day classes, Rock the Block, were taught on Tuesday morning and afternoon.

I was interviewed twice for local television.  IMF is a huge draw for the city of Wagga Wagga and it is widely covered on TV and newspaper, as well as their tourist information bureaus.  Here are a few screen shots of my interview.

Lots of pictures below of the dyeing class, where we concentrated on cold batch application, tie-dyeing, and immersion dyeing.  I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Cold batch application to sinamay, jinsin, raffia, silk straw.

Tie-dye, below, of the same straw yardages--jinsin, sinamay, raffia, silk straw.

Immersion dyeing of hoods and capelines.

Check out the gradient dyeing below!

And a couple of experiments in dip dyeing straw yardage.

And finally, the results! 

I'm thinking those dyed pieces of straw are going to make some incredibly beautiful, interestingly shaded hats and headpieces. 

On to the Rock the Block class, where everyone was learning to make inexpensive fascinator blocks, similar to the ones they had seen at the Trade Expo.  I'm certainly not trying to diminish what blockmakers do, because if you've ever tried to make a block, of any type, you know that the DESIGN is not always as easy to execute as one might think.  There are subtleties that you wouldn't even think about, believe me. 

I was, however, very pleased with the blocks the delegates made, and pleased that they listened when I instructed them to keep the design simple, at least for this first block.  Again, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

We even had a few who finished in time to actually block some sinamay over their new fascinator blocks.

The past two International Millinery Forums have been incredibly fortunate to be able to offer classes by one of Australia's foremost and most highly skilled milliners, Jean Carroll, OAM.  Jean began her career at the tender age of 14.  Yes, 14!  And this year, at the age of 89, she decided it was time to hang up her needle and thimble. 

IMF gave a stirring tribute to Jean at an afternoon reception after classes were over one afternoon. Although Jean didn't teach this year she told me she just couldn't stay away.  We were all so pleased to see her at all the festivities. Sydney milliner Neil Grigg emceed the proceedings and spoke of Jean's wonderful 75 year career.  I can tell you there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Jean and Neil.  Isn't she gorgeous?  And so very classy!!  Neil, you did an amazing job!

Congratulating Jean on her career.  I asked her what she would now be doing with her days.  She answered she didn't know but that she would enjoy whatever life gave her.  How sweet.

I will leave it there for now.  Honoring Jean is a great place to end this post. 

But one more shot, below, of a very relaxing evening at the local pub with my host family, Kim and Scott; joining us were delegates Helen and Jill from Darwin.  Cheers!

Post #3 will be about the Gala and my last few days in Sydney.  Hope you've enjoyed the post!!