Congratulations, Rachael Henson!!

Runner up in the recent Millinery Association of Australia “Design Award”

Rachael wins again with a gorgeous design in velvet and satin. Read all about her MAA design experience here.

“For someone who claimed to not be much of a competition enterer I seem to be doing a lot of entering this year…

To meet this year’s MAA design theme of ‘Evening’ I chose traditional evening materials of velvet and satin and decided to expand on the design that won joint second place in the inaugural 2017 MIMC competition earlier this year. For the MIMC hat, I began with the simple premise of making a hat that was trimmed with a lovely flower.

For the MAA competition I decided to use the same starting point as per the previous design and expand on the technique in the making.  I wanted to reinterpret the glamour of ‘those’ movie cocktail parties, where people were really committed to dressing, hats included of course and whilst I truly appreciate and covet some of the vintage styles of the past, I always try to design in a more contemporary style in order to continue to evolve as a milliner.

For this hat I made three black velvet roses (thorns included) which are hugged by a vintage velvet and oyster satin wrap. The satin inside covering was machine embroidered with rose leaves and then the bouquet tied off with an oyster satin bow machine embroidered sketchy shadows included. The arrangement perches rakishly atop a velvet covered cap that is shaped to echo the thorny stems. In essence the hat was made using very traditional millinery skills, partial blockings with the shaping completed when wiring and then covering.

Hearing that I was the Runner Up in the MAA Design Award was a delightful surprise. I wasn’t able to attend the cocktail party at the “Hats off to Adelaide” Convention with Winner, Felicity Northeast and People’s Choice winner Alison Clark, as I was unfortunately unable to tear myself away from our balmy Canberra Winter so I would  like to take this opportunity to thank the generous Sponsors,  with my prizes received from The Total Package, Hat Blocks Australia, and The Hat Magazine.

And so, on to the next hat…”

Images Courtesy MAA and Rachael Henson

The MAA Design Award was judged by two of our most eminent Australian Milliners (with extensive experience in the millinery trade), the current MAA President, Rosemary Hudson and former MAA President, Phillip Rhodes.

You can find Rachael at:


Hughes ACT, Australia 2065