A quick chat with Irene Moore (Moore Millinery Designs), whose clients have won a number of prestigious Fashions on the Field awards wearing her sophisticated and standout millinery. 

Irene has been a member of Millinery Market since 2017 and has a collection of stunning millinery and race day accessories for sale and hire- including her signature style Breton hats. Below Irene shares with us some of her favourite milliner moments and experiences. 


First experience with Millinery (what got you into hat making)?

After finishing 25 years of Calisthenics, I was looking for a new hobby, something that will still keep my mind creative.

I found a 3 year short course at Kangan Institute studying Millinery. I had no idea at the time what Millinery was all about or where it was going to take me. This course taught me everything from designing, millinery materials, wire work, dying, hat blocking, flat patterns, trimming, fashion runways etc by some of the great Milliners.

I completed my Certificate II, III and Cert IV and graduated in 2015. During my studies I learnt about Fashions on the Field and how beautiful the hats were and of course the amazing outfits that complimented the Headwear, so I continued down this path creating mostly one off pieces.

Favourite hat you’ve ever made?

So hard to choose one favourite as I have made many favourite hats, but the one that will always remain my most successful and favourite piece would have to be the piece I made in 2016 that was entered into SA National FOTF competition.

This was a very unique piece at the time, I was trying to replicate the sleeve from the top worn, this truly was a challenge. There were many hours spent designing this piece and how to aesthetically make it look effective and how it was going to sit on the head perfectly. My client/daughter won the SA National FOTF and then went onto win the FOTF Nationals wearing this piece.

The hat that took you the longest to make?

Most of my pieces are made for customers who enter FOTF, so they often can take many weeks to make. Clients often want something very different, unusual and unique, so designing, sketching and sourcing material has to be factored into your time when making a hat.

I made this unusual piece in 2016 (pictured below), it was made to complement the client’s outfit. It was a larger piece so I had to be mindful of how this was going to sit on the head comfortably. This hat itself was made freeform without using a hat block (except the button block on top), taking many hours to get that right shape.

I softened the look with handmade chiffon flowers out of the material from her outfit, these flowers can take up to 1 hour each to make from beginning to end, as each petal is individually cut and rolled and formed into a flower. This hat was all hand made and hand sewn.

It was very successful making top 10 in Myer FOTF at Flemington.



Image: Richard Shaw

Favourite Milliner Moment?

Definitely my favourite Milliner moment would have to be in 2019 making top 10 in the prestigious Invite Only Oaks Day Millinery Award Competition at Flemington.

Firstly the thrill of being invited after lodging your application to enter the Oaks Day Millinery award for me was a winning moment, time to start thinking of a standout piece to showcase 🙂

This is truly a magical moment as you are entering your piece alongside Milliners that you look up to and have admired for years. There are approximately 60 Milliners who have been invited to enter their amazing headwear in this competition.

To hear your number called out in the preliminary finals is just amazing, BUT to hear your number being called out for Top 10 was truly a heart stopping moment. To stand on that stage alongside your beautiful model who has just worked her heart out to model your headwear with style & grace, has to be my favourite Milliner moment of all time.



Image: Richard Shaw

Favourite material to work with / signature style?

My most popular style I have made would have to be my Breton’s. I have made this style in many different colours and used a variety of  materials to create individual pieces to suit each client.

My handmade flowers (which are becoming a signature style of mine) and leaves are made from material that might be in the clients outfit or I will source material to match. They can vary from Chiffon, Leather, or Pressed metal and gives the hat an individual look.

I do love playing with all sorts of materials to create unusual pieces. Material such as racello which make amazing hats and bows, wire can be made into beautiful structural shapes, vintage materials made into stunning Pillboxes and lace makes divine hats.

I have also grown very fond of fur felt over the years, this is a beautiful material to work with, it is a Winter material and blocks beautifully… the list can go on forever with Millinery Materials.


Visit Moore Millinery Designs profile page to see all of the beautiful hats that she has availabe for sale or hire.


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