Ann Shoebridge
Ann ShoebridgeMilliner

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How did you become interested in millinery?

I have always been interested in art and sculpture and, combined with my love of making things, millinery seemed to be a good balance of these interests.

Where and why did you learn millinery?

I took a number of classes with Louise Macdonald at Swinburne University; however, I am largely self-taught. I enjoy discovering new techniques from fellow milliners and from viewing millinery collections, for example at the National Gallery of Victoria and other exhibitions.

How long have you been a milliner for? Where else did you work?

I have had my own millinery business for the past three years. My main area of work is with the contemporary art fair, Melbourne Art Fair, which is coming up this August. I used to (and still do!) make hats for my colleagues at Melbourne Art Fair to wear to the Melbourne Cup. When people started to compliment on them and ask where they were from, I was inspired to start my own business.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

Inspiration comes from many different areas: organic forms, other cultures and their fashion. My second collection was inspired by the 60s films of French director/actor Jacques Tati.

What has been your most enjoyable commission?

Saab Australia required “sports car” inspired hats, which required a stretch of the imagination!

How would you describe your style of hats?

Elegant and unfussy.

Who do you make hats for?

Predominantly for race goers; however, I have started doing more bridal wear.

What materials and techniques do you favor?

My hats are quite non-traditional, as I usually don’t work with conventional millinery materials, for example hat blocks. I usually block on objects and also hand sculpt different forms.

Any other interests?

I enjoy visiting contemporary art galleries, watching old movies, taking photos and walking in the botanical gardens with my new son Felix.