BRIANNA'S STORY

"At the age of 19 I completed and received my diploma in Commercial Arts and Interior Design. However I found that the incredible amount of paper work outweighed the creative passion and Interior Design didn’t appeal to me as a career anymore. I found myself working in jobs that took my time and energy just to exist in the world. Upon realising that life at that point had little to it I attended Waltraud Reiner’s Winter School in Rockhampton 2016. From that week my life completely opened up to endless opportunities. Waltraud’s intuition and surprise of my hand stitching skills for my age prompted her to invite me to Melbourne to work under her wing.

 

There I was, the youngest and with almost zero experience, I worked in a studio with Waltraud Reiner, Katrin (of Chaperon Hats), and Tamami from Japan for almost two months. Together we created an incredible collection of hats, “Talking Hats” where we explored the process of making these hats through metaphors. We raised money and awareness for ‘Hats for Happiness’ through a documentary (coming soon), exhibition, and hat show. I spent almost 2 months in Waltraud’s studio where I learnt an incredible amount of skills, for a beginner! Since then I have attended Waltraud’s Summer school and Winter school every year where I have become a part of a very special family. I owe all of my Millinery knowledge and skills to Waltraud Reiner. Now, at the age of 24 I feel very privileged to have gained the amount of knowledge and skills in Millinery that I have and for the continuous support I receive.

 

I try to steer away from trends to create something unseen and more exciting to the eye. I use the elements of design which I learnt from my Interior Design Course, such as ‘line’, ‘proportion’, ‘shape’, ‘texture’, ‘colour’, and apply them to my hats daily. 2017 saw me using a sewing machine and hand stitching; however in 2018 I have resulted in everything being hand stitched for top quality! Every piece gets hand blocked and hand shaped, and every alice-band gets made from scratch using techniques taught by Waltraud. I believe quality, originality, and finesse is what makes a great milliner! Which one day, I hope to be!"