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Meet Kim – Our Resident Milliner Extraordinaire!

Structural magic created with our Crinoline fabric, click image for product info

We always brag about the fact that our staff members are creative and knowledgeable. But we have to admit that this one is particularly impressive in her talent and skill. Her prowess has cemented her a fabulous career spanning years and continents. Introducing Kim Fletcher! Kim is an expert milliner and stalwart of the fashion community. Now that spring has sprung and fashion is on everyone’s minds, we thought we’d take this opportunity to give you all some insight into Kim’s expert knowledge and amazing experiences. 

Kim took the time to answer some questions and give some tips on things you need to know this spring carnival.


Incredible hat trimmed with feathers from Darn Cheap, click image for product

Introduce yourself:
I have been a customer of Darn Cheap Fabrics for over 25 years, being a local milliner in Elsternwick. The onset of COVID was a disaster for a milliner and I found myself without income for the foreseeable future. I applied for a position at Darn Cheap and am now the store manager. So now I balance my time between Darn Cheap and my millinery business.

How long have you been a milliner?
I have been a milliner since 1993, so 29 years. Like a lot of mothers, after the birth of my daughter I felt lost and did a millinery course one night a week for six months. That was it, I was hooked!

Kim at the Bellagio in Shanghai promoting the Melbourne Cup Carnival

Favourite moments of your career?
Traveling the world because I make hats. For the fifteen years prior to COVID I’ve had the privilege of promoting the Melbourne Cup Carnival (both internationally and locally), the City of Melbourne and Australia. Working for both the Victoria Racing Club, Tourism Victoria and Tourism Australia. A career highlight was presenting my hats at two parades at the Ritz Hotel in London.

Who has worn your millinery?
The most famous being the late Luciano Pavarotti back in 2005 when he came out to Australia. Over the years the likes of Jennifer Hawkins, Jodi Anasta, Emma Freedman, Michelle Payne, the late Lillian Frank and Olympia Valance have all had their heads adorned with a Kim Fletcher Millinery piece. 

Top tip on selecting your millinery?
Always use a full length mirror. Use a hand mirror to ensure your headwear is flattering at all angles. Your millinery should also reflect your personality, remember your headwear is often the first thing people will see approaching you.

When dressing for spring carnival – hat or dress first?
Dress first. A skilled milliner will always be able to tie your look together by taking into consideration your face, body shape as well as garment shape and colour, creating a flattering silhouette.

Spring trends you’ve spotted coming up this season?
Pink, pink and more pink! Lots of bright, bold colours, including pops of green. Oversized pant suits with padded shoulders. Voluminous shaped dresses with ruffles and draping.



Thanks for taking the time to share with us Kim!!!
We are so lucky to have someone so knowledgeable and talented working with us.

We made sure to get Kim’s top picks from Darn Cheap Fabrics for all things millinery:

Veiling, hail spot & plain
Crinoline, in fabric and trim widths
Double sided buckram
Hat elastic
Stretch velvet ribbon
Metal combs
Grosgrain ribbon
Trims, endless! Braids, buckles, motifs
Feather trim by the meter
Faux fur and leather
Bling by the meter
Bridal tulle
Lace, both fabric and trim

More beautiful hats created by Kim below.

This spring Kim has been generous enough to loan us a hat or two for our window, if you’re near our Glenhuntly store be sure to pop by to see her spectacular work in person!

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