Fabulous Hat(s) Friday

Beaded Hats. Is there anything more beautiful? From the delicate & subtle, to the intricate and over the top…beaded hats have a special place in millinery. Especially in the 20/30s and the 50s.

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From these “simple” and elegant pieces

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to the amazingly detailed and precise designs of these cloches

Beading, sequin work, embellishment and embroidery, certainly not at this level were taught at TAFE. I am pretty sure even final year wouldn’t have helped me learn this amazing creative medium.

Beaded Hats

This amazing 40’s piece is a unique take on the trend of taxidermied birds on hats…the detail! The work that went into this is mindblowing. 

I love the two years I spent studying millinery. I am really looking forward to going back and finishing my final year. But with my shoulders still not on the mend I had to turn my attentions elsewhere this year. I am still focusing on millinery skills, but instead of making hats I have learnt to work more with wirework, I am learning colour theory and mixing (so I can get more accurate results when custom dying), I am hoping very much to get a set of flower making tools and take some classes on that too. But while in Paris I was given an amazing opportunity…and it was everything I didn’t know I desperately wanted to know.

Beaded Hats

This is a “simple” sewn 20’s cloche covered in the most exquisite beading

Maison Lesage is a house of haute couture embellishment, beading and embroidery. Maison Lesage opened their atelier in 1858 and was a family run business. Some of the work they do now if the haute couture embellishments, beading and embroidery for some of the best couture houses – like Dior and Chanel. Maison Lesage is also now apart of the Chanel group. Their archives hold the worlds largest collection of embroidery art.

Ecole Lesage

As well as Maison (House of) Lesage, they also have Ecole Lesage. Ecole (meaning school) Lesage is THE school of haute couture embellishment. I found out about the school while I was in Paris, I was interviewed and accepted into the 8 Level Haute Couture course. Which as you can imagine, was ridiculously exciting. The only problem was I would need to find the money to not only get back to France, but also the tuition fees.

Beaded Hats

With the help of this course…maybe one day I will be able to make pieces as stunning as this beaded topper

We have worked out the finances and I can *just* afford to go back to Paris in November the only part I am having trouble with is finding the money to pay for the tuition. I would only be able to do one or two levels at a time and each costs 1350Euros. When a friend suggested I try crowd sourcing I mostly fobbed it off. I am great at hustling for money when I do Liptember each year…but that’s raising funds for an important cause. But in the end I decided to ask for help. Go Fund Me - Miss Fairchild

So…can you help me? I do have some “rewards” for donors and you would have my undying love. I need all the support I can get. $2000 (approximately 1350 euros at the current AUD-EUR exchange rate) is my initial goal which should pay for my first level. If possible I would love to raise $4000 in order to do two levels. I am just $65 off being 20% funded. I need at least 40% to even be able to confirm my spot for November. If you want to help please consider donating…every single dollar counts. Even $5 would be a huge help. If you can’t donate please, please consider sharing this around. I need a signal boost. So click on the picture or the link HERE to be taken to my GoFundMe page.

My long term goal is to work in period costume design (millinery) or curate/restore/archive/keep safe a fashion collection – whether it be for the National Trust or somewhere dreamy like the MET. To do this I am going to need more skills than are on offer at TAFE. I am going to have to study lots of different things that relate to millinery. And this is where I am starting.

So today I am sharing my love of exquisite beaded & sequined hats. I hope you love them as much as I do and I hope you can support me on this exciting and nerve wracking journey!

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Fabulous Hat Friday

Miss Fairchild - Lilly Dache

This fabulous hat is my very first hat by Lilly Dache. Lilly Dache is my hat icon. I don’t tend to love a lot of her hats, but admire her life and how she went from nothing to having a store on 5th avenue with 6 stories of millinery fabulousness. He book “Talking through my Hats” is my all time favourite autobiography. Miss Fairchild - Lilly Dache

As far as I can tell “Dachettes” was a diffusion line by Lilly Dache. Probably for the younger crowd. Designed by her (but made by staff) and probably sold more mass market. This hat is a flat pattern (sewn), as opposed to blocked, hat of faux leopard fur and trimmed very simply with some black petersham ribbon. It’s a very simple hat and yet makes quite an impact. I wore it out to see the debut of Borsalino City at ACMI as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.Miss Fairchild - Lilly Dache

I even won a prize for having such a fabulous hat! One of my favourite fashion documentaries by one of my all time favourite style icons “Diana Vreeland”.

And with that I leave you with a quote from Lilly Dache

“You see, a woman’s hat is close to her heart, though she wears it on her head. It is her way of saying to the world: “See, this is what I am like!” Or – “This is how I should like to be.”

-Lilly Dache

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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2016 Year of the Hat – January Recap

january_hats_1 january_hats_2 january_hats_3 january_hats_4

A quick recap of Januarys “Hat of the Day”. See a new #hatoftheday each on instagram

Do you have any favourites lovelies?

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Fabulous Hat Friday: Coquette by Miss Fairchild

Introducing “Coquette” 


Moi. Modelling the prototype “Coquette” headpiece in my line of hats designed for Lingerie enthusiasts who want something fabulous on the head to match the rest of their lingerie. The collection titled “Happy Endings” is still a way off…but this piece just needed to be made and worn and as it is Fabulous Hat Friday, I thought I would share it with you



noun: coquette; plural noun: coquettes
  1. 1.
    a flirtatious woman.
    “her transformation from an ice maiden warrior into a winsome coquette”
  2. 2.
    a crested Central and South American hummingbird, typically with green plumage, a reddish crest, and elongated cheek feathers.
    coquette meaning
    mid 17th century: French, feminine of coquet ‘wanton’, diminutive of coq ‘male bird, cock’.
    “Coquette” is a wirework piece mounted on a bandeau (available to fit literally any head size). This prototype is a bit rough around the edges (it was made the day of my first visit to my local chapter of Lingerie Addicts Anonymous…though it was definitely more enabling and less anonymous than traditional “help” groups) but it certainly turned heads. I mean that quite literally. In fact a man almost walked off the train platform while staring and another walked into a pillar. This hat may be the most dangerous one I have made.
    Made with beautiful eyelash lace along the top, handwired to be able to shape into a nice curve, just as it would sit if it was a real bra (note: Now I want to learn how to make a bra because it’s not just my head that needs this on me). The main cup is based on my favourite 3 piece style bra cup and covered in dotted tulle.
    How beautiful is this lace?


The band is quite simple. Just a nice simple black mesh. But I couldn’t not have a band. After all this is a Coquettish bra…chicken fillets it is not.

For a very, very limited time I will be taking orders for “Coquette”. In this colour way, style and fabric (depending on lace availability it may be replaced with a similar eyelash lace) it will be $175. You can contact me at misssabrinafairchild@gmail.com if you wish to get your hands on one before she is put back on hold until I can finish the full collection. I will also be accepting custom orders for “Coquette” from $200 (want something to match a lingerie set? Your Dress? Want florals? Bigger “cups”? Let me know and I will work with you to design the perfect lingerie for your head!

If you need any more incentive to buy this pretty piece…I am hoping to raise some money to go back to Paris to further my millinery studies, especially to study under Estelle Ramousse and to hopefully attend “Ecole Lesage“. While in Paris I discovered Ecole Lesage and was able to interview to apply to study at the school. I was offered a place in the Haute Couture course as soon as I can find my way back to Paris (and the thousands of Euros it costs to study each of the 8 levels).

Maison Lesage is a family run couture embellishment & embroidery house, now owned by Chanel. They do all the embroidery, beading and embellishment for Chanel (as well as other Couture “Maisons” (Houses) like Dior & Louis Vuitton). Being accepted to study there was phenomenal enough…but to actually get the chance to learn from generations of experts…in Paris, well that certainly is a dream. One I can only achieve if I can make the money to go.

“Coquette” is for the woman who isn’t afraid of a little bit of flirtatious fun.

So ladies….are you a “Coquette”?

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Fabulous Hat Friday

Lilly Dache Hat

An absolutely FABULOUS piece by my all time favourite milliner Lilly Dache. I would kill for a piece like this. Totally swoon worthy. If I was ever going to be a pirate I would definitely want an eye patch this fabulous…and probably a white peacock instead of a parrot….and a leg made of diamonds and emeralds…..

What would be your dream pirate get up? Could you ever wear a piece like this that covers your eyes? Tell me all about it lovelies!

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Fabulous Hat Friday

Edwina Ibbotson

How amazing is this beautiful draped silk organza hat in twisted ombres of pinks!

This hat I thought for sure was vintage, but after finding it on pintrest and following the links I discovered it was made by London based milliner Edwina Ibbotson, Her website indicates this hat was made in 1995, which surprises me as the 90’s were honestly worse than the 80s in my mind. This hat has such a 60’s feel to it. Like something Princess Margaret would have worn.

Makes me even more keen to learn draping this year!

What fabulous things are you putting on your head this week?

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Fabulous Hat Friday

On the first “Fabulous Hat Friday” on the Miss Fairchild Millinery blog we have a hat by Estelle Ramousse estelle-ramousse-paris-milliner-modiste-hat-chapeau

Last year I spent a month in Paris. It was not only beautiful & amazing & life altering, but it was also truly inspiring. High up on my list of the best things I did in Paris is my trip to visit Estelle Ramousse –  au chic Modiste Parisienne (Parisian Milliner who’s style is “au chic” … a phrase she taught me which basically means totally amazing and unique and fabulous).

We spent the afternoon talking about millinery, hats, feathers, the price of couture millinery (which I will definitely go into in a later date) and St. Catherine’s Day (The Patron Saint of Milliners and THE day for hats in Paris). We also played dress up in her amazing hats.


Estelle Modeling the hat for me in her Paris Atelier


She is currently obsessed with masks and this particular piece of headwear was originally made in grey…inspired by a shark. The original was snapped up after someone saw it on a tv show. So she made a second one in black.

Estelle has an amazing knack for finding and working with some really unusual (and definitely not traditional) materials. Each piece is created entirely by hand. I tried on an amazing sequined cloche while I was there and couldn’t believe every single sequin was hand stitched. While I mostly don’t care for “modern” hats/headpieces, I do appreciate the amount of work that goes into a piece like this. For this you not only need a vision & a modern aesthetic…but you also truly need traditional, couture millinery skills.

Estelle was traditionally trained in Paris. She went to school in the morning and her apprenticeship in the afternoon. Sadly, while we do have Millinery training through TAFE (a trade certificate), apprenticeships are a thing of the past. Even over the 3 years of Millinery training available in Melbourne (Certificate II, III & IV – one a year) we only take 5 days of work experience.

This was still available for sale when I was there. I really hope someone buys it. It is just so fantastic! If you are in Paris and looking for an outrageous hat to bring home…Estelle is a must visit!

Estelle Ramousse

64 Rue de la Mare

75020, Paris, Frace

So tell me lovelies, what hat has you drooling this week?

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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