For Carla Murley, stumbling upon a video of Australian milliner Richard Nylon came at  the perfect time in her life and since then it has transformed in ways greater than she could have ever imagined. Carla's millinery utilises many traditional materials, but is always on the hunt for something new, exciting and unusual. She has a wide range of customers for which she designs unique pieces, from FOTF competitors to prominent celebrities at the Melbourne Cup. Here we take some time to find out a little more about Carla Murley.

What do you love most about Millinery?
Goodness that's a loaded question!  What don't I love?! Essentially, millinery changed my life. I completely and utterly adore it, the techniques, the experimentations, the history of millinery and it's place in the current fashion 'world'. I took up the art of millinery at a time in my life when I was really ready to believe in myself. Its quite the art of mindfulness for me now. I feel very at home when I'm alone in my studio coming up with new ideas.  

How did you get into Millinery?
Back in 2011 I stumbled across a video of Richard Nylon talking about Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and I realised more than anything I wanted to learn more about Richard the millinery master. I was hooked…. it was quite an aha moment for me, I did some research and found out he was (at that time) teaching millinery at Melbourne Fashion Institute  and their open night was the following week - fast forward a couple of months and I was successful in my application to study at MFI with Richard in 2012 and I launched my label that same year with his support. Richard Nylon quite simply changed my life. 

In a sentence tell us how you would describe your designs.
I like to think the millinery I create is playful and not too serious. Quirky and yet appealing to a wide range of clientele. Every year the range that I produce for spring is different to the year before.

What is your ideal customer?
Either A: Someone who knows exactly what they want or B: someone who doesn't know but who is happy for me to take creative direction.

What inspires you? 
Experimentation! Quirky materials! Things that can be upcycled or repurposed. Taking something that is considered ugly and giving it a new life as a beautiful piece of millinery. I see beauty in the strangest places, I don't use traditional materials and I'm constantly on the hunt for new things to experiment with, can I use that? What can I do with that? How would that perform under steam? Under the iron?  How could I engineer that for strength, form, structure. It's quite the laboratory in my studio. For every headpiece that works there are ten that didn't but thats what I love, experimentation.  

If you could invite any milliner to tea who would it be? 
I had the privilege of meeting Stephen Jones for a very brief moment at Oaks Day 2015 - I wish I'd had more time, so a cuppa with Mr Jones would be quite incredible.

What is your favourite material to work with?
This year it was Latex and it will definitely make a comeback in 2016 for me but I'm currently on the hunt for something new to work with for next spring.  

Whats your best millinery tip?  
Work with a mentor.  

If you had to make your last hat what would it be?
A garland of orchids. I'm obsessed.

Famous words to live by.
"For what it's worth: It's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over". F.Scott Fitzgerald.

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Tags: #millineryinterview, Carla Murley, milliner

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