04 September, 2010

The Hats off to the Races High Tea . . and a little Dior

Today I attended a 'Hats Off to the Races' High Tea as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. It was a really lovely afternoon spent with fabulously-talented milliners and hat lovers. I splashed out and bought a Dior-style black wide-rimmed hat from Clara Fox Vintage in Fitzroy for the occasion . .

New look hat - Frankin Simon Saks 5th Avenue
Clara Fox Vintage Clothing, 479 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North

I teamed with a Dior-style (I sense a theme here!) red and black striped dress from etsy (where else?). . .

A late 1940's red and black dress from a very nice seller on etsy Bird and Flower Vintage
Dress is worn with a waist cincher as the waist on this dress is tiny!

The high tea was hosted by the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, which has lovely old fahioned tea place in the Block Arcade, Melbourne city. Because we were such a large group, the tea was not held in the tea rooms itself, but right in the centre of the Block Arcade so there were a lot of Melbournites and tourists bepuzzled by the sight of all these fabulous hatted ladies having tea!
The milliners (from all over Australia) had exhibited their hats through different buildings on Collins Street during the week and prizes were given out for the best exhibit and best hat at tea. The milliners were all such a lovely bunch of ladies, very warm and friendly and they seemed to be very supportive of one another's work which was lovely (as people involved in fashion can sometimes be . . . well, not so supportive of one another!).  The judging was done by one of Australia's best milliners, Peter Jago, and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne Susan Riley.

Peter Jago on the right - a real character, warm, charming and very very fabulous!! On the left, a lovely milliner who also teaches millinery at RMIT - Serena Lindeman (please click on that link to access her blog and etsy shop - she has some absolutely beautiful hats available for purchase)!

Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Susan Riley, very elegant and also very friendly 

Now a close up of those wonderful hats  . . .
Look at these two fabulous creations!

I'm sorry this photo is a bit blurry, it does not really do the hat justice, but I wanted to give you an idea of the how beautiful it was from the back and how much work was involved in making it.

If any of you are interested in meeting these milliners or buying some of their hats, many of them run stalls as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, so keep your eye on the Melbourne Horse Racing website for information on those hat days.

I think Collins Precinct which organised the High Tea is planning to have one next year for Spring Fashion Week too, so I would urge you to come along, it was a beautiful afternoon and it was lovely meeting all those fabulous milliners.

In any case, you should take yourself off to Hopetoun Tea Rooms for High Tea as the food was absolutely beautiful. Sometimes I find high tea at big hotels a bit 'commercial' - bulk made and a bit tasteless - but the food at Hoptoun was super fresh and really tasty, and the cakes appeared to be homemade. I am very fussy about my cakes and these really were nice. The cake stand we got had, amongst other things, smoked salmon finger sandwiches, maccaroons, lemon tarts and fruit. I could have eaten the whole lot by myself! Highly recommended!


  1. Wow. So many hats! They're all amazing. You look fantastic.
    -Andi x

  2. Just gorgeous, I love the Dior Style Hat!
    You look amazing in that dress, what a find!

  3. Wonderful. What a beautiful hat. Very Dior!

  4. That was a lovely day and it was a pleasure to meet you. That was me in the shot with Peter Jago (Serena Lindeman)

  5. I love that dress. That purple and red hat was divine, thanks for the photos!