Milliner: Julie Anne Lucas
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
How did you become interested in millinery?
I became interested in millinery while studying for my Diploma in Fashion Design and Manufacture in Perth, Australia.
Where and why did you learn millinery?
I completed the millinery components of my Diploma in Fashion Design and Manufacture at Seaforth College in Sydney and enjoyed it so much that I haven't stopped making hats and collecting hat blocks since.
How long have you been a milliner for? Where else did you work?
For the last 4 years we have been living in Dubai and this is the first time that I have relied solely on my millinery for an income. Before moving here, millinery was more of a hobby for me as I worked in administration during the day and made hats at night.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I don't know where I get my inspiration for my designs – it just happens. I love glamorous hats and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the transformation in a lady's appearance when she puts the right hat on. It is a shame we don't wear hats more often.
Who do you make hats for?
The Dubai World Cup, which was held on 25 March 2006, was my third Cup. All year I make hats and sell them in the ten days leading up to the Cup. I try to have around 200 hats finished for each Cup. I only make one of each design and they are all hand finished.
What materials and techniques do you favor?
This year I mainly used sinamay and I enjoy this material because of the flexibility it allows you to mould to any shape. I also use other straws and fabric (mainly raw silk), though I do not use felts very often, due to the climate here.
Any other interests?
Millinery provides me with a creative outlet and balances my interests which also include investment in real estate and renovating houses and a few other ventures. My other interests include drawing and painting, reading and cooking (mainly Italian food).