Community, friendships and creative freedom is what Dianne Barbour has gained from taking up millinery in her spare time. Dianne has taken opportunities to learn millinery through her local Community College, Millinery Conferences and online with HatAcademy. It has not taken long for Dianne to build up a strong client base, with many taking out Fashion on the Field prizes. An example of Dianne's fabulous work is featured above, a bold black leather percher with striking wired and trimmed feather. Read on to find out more about Dianne, her community and her millinery.

What do you love most about millinery?
What i love most about millinery are the friendships I have formed with clients and other milliners. I love the moments you receive a message from a client that their outfit is coming together and they send a collage of their dress, your headpiece and the perfect handbag. 

How did you get into millinery?
I have always loved fashion, and always wanted to learn millinery but it was not plausible due to it only being a daytime course at Wagga Wagga TAFE. Eventually they cancelled the Design Technology Course altogether. The Riverina Community College decided that they would conduct the course with the assistance of Rose Organ, and these classes were held of a night time, which allowed me the opportunity to attend, from there I have attended lots of millinery courses.

How you would describe your designs.
My designs are classic with a modern twist and I enjoy adding a unique touch to each piece.

What is your ideal customer?
Ideal customer who knows what they want or is happy and trust me to make a headpiece to compliment the outfit they have sent to me. I am extremely fortunate that I have those clients.

What inspires you?
Anything can inspire me, I have a thirst for knowledge and love learning new techniques. A unique piece of leather, lace, fabric or a ribbon can inspire me. I see a something and I know straight away what I am going to do with it.

If you could invite any milliner to tea who would it be and why.
I would want to have a tea party and invite several milliners, Neil Grigg would have to be one, for his techniques and dry wit, Sophie Beale, l like her free form style, Brett Morely, I love his wired lace and feather headpieces, there are so many more plus I would have to invite the Wagga milliners, we try to catch up on a regular basis and this would be a good excuse.

What is your favourite material to work with?
I love working with leather, creating leather flowers and also lace.

Whats your best millinery tip?
My best tip is when something isn't happening, walk away, have a coffee, do something else. You will find that you have a fresh approach to the issue when you come back.

What has been the largest challenge you face in millinery and how do you overcome it?
Time is my biggest challenge, I work full time and I love spending time with my family and friends, lucky for me a few of my friends are milliners, so we try to catch up on a regular basis either for sewing or dinner.

Famous words to live by.
"Treat others how you like to be treated."

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