This is a millinery show like no other; it is art, it is fashion, it is storytelling and it is theatre. Talking Hats is a collaborative project that transcends countries, ages, culture and personal histories.
The title of this extraordinary show says it all – it is about hats talking to us, it is about hats being part of us and it is also about how hats can transform us. It also introduces us to the creative process, both shared and individual and it tells us about innovation beyond the 'normal' expectation of the role and purpose of hats.
The very talented Waltraud Reiner is not only a well-known Melbourne milliner, she is an artist. Serendipitous encounters with three women from different countries and cultures pointed her and them in the direction of this collaborative project. She explains it as a meeting of hearts, minds and life stories.
Katrin, a young woman from Germany worked for Waltraud for a while and then returned to Germany. The call of Australia and the desire to work with Waltraud again, brought her back. Tamami, from Japan, met Waltraud in a supplier's shop in Tokyo and was extremely helpful in being an impromptu translator.
There was a strong connection between the two women and so Tamami returned to Melbourne to work on this project. The last collaborator, Brianna is a young woman from Townsville, who drove 7 hours to Rockhampton to take part in one of Waltraud's mobile hat-making workshops and formed a strong bond with Waltraud and a desire to work with her.
And so an idea and a project were born - Talking Hats Collection Presented as a Hat parade. It will take place on September 27th, 2016 at the Malvern Artists' Society. Using their combined talents, skills and passion the four women have produced a parade and stories of hats.
They have learnt a lot from each other along the way, not only about hat making but also about each other, about themselves and about the power of hats in the process of human transformation. Waltraud sees the exhibition as being "from the beginning until we take flight", the hats telling their own stories as part of a thematic approach.
There are themes of beginnings, masks, flowers, fragility, searching, architecture, all portrayed and symbolised through hats. Recycled hats become reborn and can blossom into a beautiful rose. "The aim is to show the integrity of millinery. The collaborators express this with an emphasis on innovation, lightness, invisible stitching and no glue (well almost no glue)"
Tickets are limited and can be booked by calling or on the Facebook page above (pay on the night).
Not only is the show a magical highlight for anyone interested in hats and art but it is also a fundraiser for which supports projects dealing with the psychological health of children . Tickets cost only $20 and include light refreshments.