10 September, 2011

Hats off to the High Tea - Melbourne Spring Fashion Week

Yesterday I attended a lovely event - the 'Hats Off to the High Tea' at the Block Arcade in Melbourne. The event is organised by the Collins Street Precinct and is part of the hat exhibition run in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.  I also went to this tea last year (see this link). I absolutely love this high tea. The people are fantastic (the guests are usually all local milliners) and the high tea, which is catered by the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, is beautiful. There was a great mixture of savoury and sweet things and the salmon sandwiches are particularly nice.

I wore a 'Dior style' hat and dress to the event and managed to win 'Best dressed'. That was quite the compliment given how well dressed the other ladies were. The picture below shows myself (on right) with Sandy Aslett, the winner of the best hat competition (there were prizes for the best exhibition of hats during the week). She is a milliner from Buderim, Queensland and a lovely lady (for her online shop please see this link). All the milliners are very friendly and inspirational ladies. I greatly admire them for their creativity. They are all so talented and I like the fact that they run their own businesses in what is a very competitive market.
My outfit details:
1950s 'New Look' hat  etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/melmacparadise)
Marie Phillips 1950s dress ebay
This dress is actually a pink and grey version of the dress I wore to the High tea last year. I love this Dior style with the nipped in waist and soft shoulders. I had in expertly taken in by my fabulous tailors, St Kilda Tailors, highly recommended for altering vintage clothing.
I have also loaded some close ups of my hat at the end of this post if you'd like more details about that.

Now onto the gorgeous hats at the High Tea.

Look at this fabulous red creation . . .

Look at this beautiful lady, how happy does she look? Do you know why? She is wearing a hat!

This lady was sitting next to me at the High Tea. Her name is Zuzana Vranovska and she was also very lovely and friendly. She is also a local milliner and sells vintage as well (see below near end of post for her contact details). I love the cherries in her hat.

Another gorgeous red creation - a close up of Sandy Aslett, talented Australian milliner . . . 

And lastly, this beautiful girl was wearing a hat from the Hat shop at Flinder's Street Station (where she works). But she added some magnificent decorations to it. I love the feathers and art deco look to it. Divine.
So there you go, a' hat heavy' post, but I hope you liked it!

Many of the milliners pictured above sell their hats in Collins Street and online so if you are interested, please look them up. Some of these include: 
- Marea Bright Exclusive Milliner Level 1, Suite 107 Centreway Arcade 259 Collins Street. 
Zuzana Vranovska, Couture & Vintage Millinery, shop 8 , 974 High Street Armadale - Kings Arcade
Online - see Serena Lindeman and, as mentioned above, Sandy Aslett

Also, for those who are interested, please see below of close ups of the hat I wore to the High Tea. I might give you a good idea as to how to date and buy hats online. The style, along with the label (see photo 3) dates it as vintage. On that issue, I have found that anything with the label 'New York' is going to be top quality. The only thing to note with buying hats online is the sizing. You need to measure your head and then make sure it marries up with the measurements given by the seller. You also must ask the seller to package the hat well so it does not get damaged in the post. That is why, when possible, I like to buy my hats in a 'real life' bricks and mortar store!
Happy hat shopping!


  1. Hi Maria, Sandy just forward me your email with your blog. I love it and big Thank you for including me in your post.You looked absolutely beautiful! Zuzana ( Zuzana Vranovska - Couture & Vintage Millinery, shop 8 , 974 High Street Armadale - Kings Arcade.

  2. Dear Zuzana, thank you so much for getting in contact. So sorry I had forgotten to put your name under your picture - I managed to lose your business card somewhere. I have now edited the post so it says your name (I like to name the people in my blog if I can!). All the best for Spring Fashion season. Best wishes, Maria

  3. What a beautiful dress you are wearing; a fabulous colour combo of pink and grey. Looks like a great day out too

  4. you look great!Love seeing people in hats!

  5. Oh you look amazing. I wish I could have high tea here and wear a fabulous hat.