For Queensland Milliner Bellinda Hasse, it was a millinery workshop in 2012 with Hat Academy tutor Elaine Mergard
that started her passion for millinery. Bellinda had always been a crafty person however, it was millinery which really opened her eyes to a new way of creatively expressing herself and she has continued to develop her skills, step by step, mastering one technique at a time.

Bellinda's designs all feature a vintage influence with a more modern spin, whether it's the trim or the shape of the hat that receives the contemporary stamp, they can all easily be distinguished by her unique millinery aesthetic.This gorgeous white sinamay straw hat is a fabulous example of Bellinda's style, with an elegant brim and a flourish of white quills, the simple drama of the hat speaks for itself. Read on to hear more about Bellinda's millinery journey.

What do you love most about Millinery?
I love that there are so many different materials to work with, different hat styles and techniques to try, millinery never gets boring.

How did you get into Millinery?
I have been creative since an early age, starting with sewing lessons from my Nana. I have always loved to learn new skills so I booked into a millinery workshop in 2012 and loved every second of it. Hat Academy's own, Elaine Mergard was the teacher and she really encouraged me to take my hat making further

How you would describe your designs?
I like to vary the look and feel of all my pieces, but generally, they all have a stylish vintage feel with a modern twist.

What is your ideal customer?
My ideal customer is someone who gives me an overview of what they need but lets me take over creatively and make something that I think will suit them perfectly.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by materials, whether it be textured tweed, lustrous silk, soft fur felt or soft pliable leather. There are so many ways to use materials to create beautiful unique hats.

If you could invite any milliner to tea who would it be and why?
I admire English Milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan. Her work is so beautifully made and would love to chat with her about her experience being a Royal Milliner

What is your favourite material to work with?
I am a fan of sinamay straw, it is an amazing material when used well. It's a very versatile material and I love to use it both for blocking as well as trimming my hats

Whats your best millinery tip?
Make lots of hats and experiment with materials as much as possible but also get lessons from a milliner who inspires you. It's amazing how you can grow with guidance from a master milliner and surrounding yourself with other like-minded people is great for the soul.

What has been the largest challenge you face in millinery?
When I first started, I felt overwhelmed by all the different techniques there are in making a great hat. I suggest you take it one day at a time, perfect one skill and build on that whenever you can.

Famous words to live by.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.

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Tags: #millineryinterview, Bellinda Haase

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