Five Minutes with WA Fashions on The Field Winner Emma Reynolds


Emma is owner of Headonism Millinery and shared her Spring Racewear tips with us here last week.  On Saturday, Emma won WA Fashions on The Field and is off to Melbourne to compete for the national title! Headonism Millinery has created headwear for Royal Ascot, the Queens Garden Party and Perth Fashion Festival 2012 for Ange Lang.  We caught up with Emma to find out how she created her winning outfit, where her love of headwear began and her top tips for the Spring Racing Carnival.

Congratulations on winning Fashions on Field in WA for 2012, can you tell us how you put your outfit together? 

Thanks Amy! I wanted to incorporate neon with navy since navy is my favourite colour and I love a small amount of the neon trend. I like an elegant look but I thought the neon added a touch of fun.

I had the navy skirt and belt already in my wardrobe and when I saw the Mimco shoes I knew they would be perfect and they prompted my decision on the bag. A peplum top was the best option for the shape of the skirt and when I was buying the top I found the perfect necklace and the only one left in the store!

Amy and Emma wearing Headonism Millinery headwear

I wanted to use the navy parasail in the headpiece but finding silk or anything neon that looked quality at short notice was a mission and a half. In the end we managed to get the exact colour by dying guipure lace which was super lucky to get a match!

You studied millinery in the UK many years ago, how did your love of headwear begin?

I have done millinery courses in the UK, Sydney and with Fiona Dixon here in Perth. The more milliners I meet and speak to, the more I realise there is so much to learn and it will be a life-long learning experience.  There are some really talented passionate ladies in Perth who have been doing millinery for years, who really inspire me and who are all very supportive of each other doing well and promoting the art. Hopefully one day I can know half of what they know.

For me at the moment it’s wonderful to have a creative outlet and I love seeing people happy with what we have created for them.

Emma in her winning outfit and stunning custom made Headonism hat

As for my love of headwear, I have been going to the races for about 10 years with my sister – she won the ‘Face of Ascot’ many years ago on a rainy day and since then we love these biannual days out doing fashions on the field with our friends, enjoying a glass of champagne and having a laugh.

I love the elegance of being able to wear a hat, it’s so ladylike and such a great way of expressing your style and individuality.

Can you tell us how the design process works for a custom headpiece from Headonism Millinery?   

Most people come to us with their dress, shoes and bag and we will try on various headwear shapes that we have to see what will suit them.

From there a client may request the exact same design as something we have already created or in many cases something completely individual and will be happy to let us run with an original design.  We will then use various millinery products and begin working on the piece which will then take hours since everything is hand sewn.

My hubby and I at the Queens Garden Party 2011. I’m wearing a Headonism pill box hat with hand made silk flowers to match my Lisa Ho dress. Video here.

Often they will have seen something that they like in a magazine, it helps get an idea of their individual style but we would never intentionally copy another milliners headpiece. We will always say that if they like that design then they should go to that milliner – all the ladies I know who make headwear are of the same opinion.

Headonism Headwear for Ange Lang at Perth Fashion Festival 2012

What are your top style tips for this Spring Racing Carnival?

I guess it depends on what day of racing you are attending. Classic, edgy black and white for Derby day. Have fun with colour and go all out for Melbourne Cup and then Oaks day is generally a little more demure and feminine.

In terms of headwear I love anything except tiny feathery fascinators perched on the side of the head. Be brave ladies!

Emma’s sister Kate on her wedding day in a beautiful Headonism Millinery headpiece

You can follow Emma on Twitter @Em_Reyno and find her on Facebook at Headonism Millinery.

Good luck in Melbourne Emma, we look forward to following all the fashion fun with you!

A xxx