Lauren Ritchie has been privileged to train in house under leading Melbourne Milliner and International Tutor, Louise Macdonald. Lauren's striking styling always has a touch of the dramatic, having made headwear for ABC “Miss Fischer Murder Mysteries” along with stage and opera productions. 

What do you love most about Millinery?
I love the process of creating. Traditional couture millinery requires a great amount of hand work and refining of skills. Hats worn for special occasions are put together with an outfit with great thought and care by the wearer, I love the detail and passion that comes through seeing these outfits come together. For theatrical millinery it is wonderful to be part of the team that helps bring the story to life be it on stage or screen.

How did you get into Millinery?
I discovered my passion for Millinery when I attended a short course in Millinery at Riverina Institute of TAFE in Albury during my final year of High School. I moved to Melbourne to complete my tertiary studies completing Bachelor of Applied Science – Fashion Design at RMIT and Certificate II, III & IV in Millinery at Kangan Institute under Paris Kyne, Melissa Jackson and Serena Lindeman.

How you would describe your designs?
Classic with high quality technique while delivering a modern aesthetic.

What is your ideal customer?
With theatrical millinery I really enjoy working with designers that have a clear idea of the concept but respect the expertise of their makers. For fashion millinery I love working with the customer to customise a piece to complete their outfit.

What inspires you?
I am inspired to make interesting pieces to the best of my ability. Making the wearer of the piece feel special and draw the eye to them for the best reason, a wonderful hat.

What has been the largest challenge you face in millinery?
The largest challenge I have faced so far in millinery is defining my position within the industry as to whether I want to focus on theatrical or fashion millinery so am perusing all opportunities as they present themselves. I have worked to expose myself to lots of approaches to hat making and taking them on to influence my own work is an ongoing process.

If you could invite any milliner to tea who would it be?
I have been fortunate to have met many milliners from across the globe. I would love to have tea with Rose Cory. She has taught many wonderful milliners and is the stem of knowledge of my millinery mentors.

What is your favourite material to work with?
One of my favourite materials to work with is sinamay as it has the ability to layer and sculpt into many forms.

What’s your best millinery tip?
Expose yourself to as many different leaders in the industry and learn from them. There are many techniques and ways to execute them. It depends on the outcome you are trying to achieve there is generally more than one way to achieve something.

Many milliners around the world are enjoying your podcasts where you interview leading International Milliners. What inspired you to commence this form of communication within the millinery industry?
Millinery.Info was started by Melbourne Milliner, Louise Macdonald many years ago and I started managing the content around 2016. Initially I was writing the articles down from a recording. There were great written publications for the Hat Industry but no audio options, not to mention podcasting which was taking off globally. While Louise and I were working in the studio we would listen to podcasts. I had heard some about art history, fashion and other social commentaries but none discussing Millinery. I realised the draw card was that as we were working with our hands it was a great way to hear about new information without spending more time in-front of a screen. It works well along side my work with Hatlines and The Hat Magazine, as the podcasts of Millinery.Info bring another way of exploring the hat making industry into the workrooms across the globe.

» Explore more from Lauren Ritchie | Listen to Millinery.Info podcast

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Tags: #millineryinterview, Lauren Ritchie, millinery

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