All About Spring Racing’s Studio Anniss

Spring racing is upon us and that means millinery! More for women than men, but there’s nothing in a trackside outfit that can’t be made a thousand times better with a good hat.

Here’s all about Studio Aniss

Why did you decide to dedicate your life to millinery?

I have an obsessive urge to create.  Millinery is an art form within fashion. It is about people expressing themselves and it is in the pointy end of the self-expression world. It is in the realm of discussion when people are looking to go out on a limb for certain moments each year, and I take the chance to help them.  It doesn’t need to be millinery though.  I have been obsessed with masks, purses and all sorts of character pieces.

How necessary is a headpiece for the races? Why?

It is not about being necessary. And I am not a person of following the rules; why I would choose to wear a headpiece to the races is it represents an opportunity to express yourself theatrically within our societal comfort zone. It is a move within a cultural game being played out, and you can be a pawn or a queen or something in between.

What are your personally preferred kinds of millinery?

The cutting edge of fashion is my area of interest. I like to be an explorer, and a person of experimental expression. We all create a page in history. For me it is about playing my part in a movement. I get a slight exhilaration putting on something really unseen, not necessarily conspicuous, just new.

What sets your work apart from that of others’?

I engage with modern materials and Modern forms, geometry and graphics, which is quite a niche.

I would have to say though, that although my works are different, and I pursue difference of expression, I always try to maintain a dialogue with classic forms and familiar gestures.  Accessibility is a big goal for me, and if I made things so foreign that they were scary to people, then I think I am creating a hurdle for people to overcome, rather than enabling or inspiring individual expression. So the familiarity is vital.  Whether it is tying into a natural form, or a classical headpiece typology, or a cultural language, I believe this familiarity keeps me tied into millinery, and sets me apart from other modern accessory designer.

How does industrially inspired millinery set itself apart from more classic types?

Being industrially inspired gives you a whole new world of inspirations, forms, materials and finishes. You are not limited to the traditional ways that a hat sits on the head or the conventional materials.

If you look at one way it gives you the opportunity to create wearable sculptures and art. If you look at it another way it enables to have an edge, which you can dress up for big events or dress down and embody that edge more often through the year.

Why do men need hats for the races? 

Self-respect is the opportunity at the races. It is a ‘Sunday best’ sort of thing.  So to share the space with these extraordinary women going all out, I think it is a missed opportunity to not get on board.

Traditions do become lost, and our challenge if we appreciate seeing a crowd of beautiful men and women is to keep the love of this occasion alive. Also, I would say from a woman’s perspective, there is nothing more attractive than a man who dresses the part. It is theatre, and every lead role needs a nice backdrop :) So men, step up for a day, enjoy the attention and give a spirited performance.

Your ideal races outfit would be…?

A dress which compliments my figure, just enough makeup remembering it is a day event, a cute purse, a jacket to throw over my shoulders if it gets cold, (but mostly to because I like holding jackets over my shoulder)  and a headpiece that makes a statement, gives me some height, has poise and delight, and says to the world I am here.









James Banham
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James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
James Banham
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