My work has been published in The Age, The Herald-Sun, The Australian, The Big Issue, Australian Birdlife, The Bark (USA), Eureka Street, Overland and The Australian Jewish News.
Published October 24th 2011
With the Spring Racing Carnival in full swing, it's time to buy a hat. But have you ever considered making one? Torb & Reiner is Melbourne's only commercial millinery supplier, and is there to help anyone wanting to match their outfit perfectly, or who want to wear a hat like no other.
Founder, Waltraud Reiner – previously a fashion designer – is passionate about hats. Since arriving in Australia in 1978, she's spread the word here and overseas, conducting hundreds of workshops and inspiring thousands.
Her shop is a bowerbird's nest, packed to the ceiling with hat-making components – colourful rolls with names like sinamay and jinsin; felts and straws ready for shaping on wooden hat-making blocks, and a riot of flowers, braids, laces, feathers and veiling for decoration (trimmings).
Reiner conducts regular small group classes where her knowledge and enthusiasm help everyone identify their preferences and design and make their own hat. She makes hats to measure but boasts a large range of ready-to-wear models for the last-minute shopper.
Something as simple as a floral headband can be assembled in minutes – without any sewing – in Reiner's skilful hands. Pick your colours and trims and a rough price range and before you know it, she'll have conjured up something beautiful before your eyes.
If you prefer to DIY, she'll offer technical advice and help.
Torb & Reiner is also an online business, selling a huge range of millinery supplies worldwide. Reiner's instructional DVDs bring tuition to your home and her advice about face shapes is simple and compelling.
Prices for trims start at $1.50 for a small flower and $4 a metre for netting. The illustrated example cost $25. Not bad for a custom-made headpiece.
Reiner's motto? 'The hat is the art of the HeArT'. Even if you think you're not a 'hat person', she'll inspire you to 'have a hatty day'.