Först ut bland intervjuerna är Modist Marilena Romeo från Australien. Marilena har jobbat som modist sedan 1992. Intervjun är på engelska.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Marilena Romeo and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I have been a milliner since 1992 and have seen many changes in headwear. I like to explore with different materials using straws, sinamay, crinoline, etc, etc. I predominantly make hats for brides, racegoers, special occasions, religious events, TV personalities and talent. I have a very successful workroom and studio where I display all my current collections. I have been lucky enough to have my hats in New York and Dubai. My hats have won ”best hat” across the world in various countries, and have also been in the finals for many competitions too. I am so grateful that people admire my designs and styles as I like my hats to be ”remembered” for their artistic beauty.
When and why did you decide to become a milliner?
I was travelling by tram from work to go home and I saw a lovely senior lady sitting on the seat styled like she had just come out of the movies. She had a wonderful hat that left a great impression on me. During this time, I went to see a milliner as I was getting married and absolutely loved the craft. I knew from that moment that this is what I wanted to do.
Did you go to school to become a milliner, or did you learn by yourself?
I was taught by a Milliner in Melbourne, Australia for many years. She taught me everything that she knew and she knew a lot! It used to be an apprenticeship in the 50’s and we became close friends. I fell in love with the craft instantly and wanted to learn as much as possible. I have been trained by her in traditional methods. I also attended Kangan College for formal education in millinery.
Where do you get inspiration for your creations?
This is a question that is very easy to answer for me. I get my inspiration from experiences in my life as well as watching objects and people from a different perspective. I always try to think how I can incorporate and manifest my experience into design. All my hats have a story behind them! For instance, my spider hat called “an arachnophobic nightmare” (as you can see from my website), came from my childhood love of spiders. The bubble hat that I recently completed came from watching my neice playing and blowing bubbles in the backyard. My childhood was full of colour. My aunt was a dressmaker and she would give me her cut-off pieces of material and I would cut and paste them onto paper and make lovely designs. This obviously evolved into the love of headwear and colour!
Are there any milliners you admire and if so, why?
There are many milliners that I admire and one of them is Philip Treacy whom I had the pleasure of meeting 6 years ago in Dubai during the Dubai World Cup. I think that he takes designs to an extreme and tantalises the eye of the beholder. I just love his concepts and how he is not scared to use colour!
Which part of history is your favourite considering hats?
The modern day is my most favourite especially during the Races throughout the world. Ladies and gents love to get dressed up and I find that during the last 8 years, women are not shy to explore and colour and design and take it to the extreme. Because of this, we find some wonderful creations that are outstanding.
Which famous person would you like to create a hat for, why, and what would it look like?
I already create hats for celebrities and talent across Australia which keeps me very busy and creative.
Do you have any advice for others interested in creating hats?
The only advice I can give is that whoever you are making a hat for the workmanship must be exceptional. Workmanship is very important in the art of millinery and under no circumstances should anyone take shortcuts!
Where you do see yourself in the future?
Certainly creating more wonderful hats that will be admired by people across the world.
Where can we find your creations, and more information about yourself?
Modist.se and all readers thank you, Marilena, very much for taking your time with this interview. Hopefully your words will inspire people and milliners in Sweden as well as throughout the world.
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