Wings of Envy

Interview with amazing artist and great person – Loraine Domican.

WOE: First of all, what is a milliner?

Loraine: A milliner is a craftsperson who designs, makes and sells hats. It can take years of training and experience to learn the trade and become a fully qualified milliner however the name is been misused quite a lot at the moment by those who have just done a couple of courses and can only make headpieces. A true milliner can block any style of hat in not only the traditional hat making fabrics- straw, felt and sinamay but in many other versatile materials too.  At the moment I call myself a Headwear Designer as I specialise in fascinators, bridal headpieces and hair accessories and am not fully qualified in hat making yet.  I will be one day though and It is my dream to be able to then call myself a Milliner when I feel confident that I deserve the title!!


WOE: What inspired you to be a milliner?

Loraine: I studied Fashion Design In College but was always more interested in the theatrical and dramatic side rather than the commercial, ready-to-wear side. In hindsight, it should have been Costume Design I studied but I wasn’t guided in the right direction at the time and as a result ended up being very frustrated and disillusioned by the whole fashion industry, after working in it for a number of years.  I had never even considered making hats or headpieces, as I never went to the Races and the only hats I ever wore were little woolen berets in the winter time, but I was dying to start doing something creative again and was determined that my years in college were not going to go to waste, so, one day last year I did a day course on how to make sinamay fascinators and that was that start of my obsession and love of creating these little beauties and there has been no turning back ever since!


WOE: What do you love most about designing?

Loraine: I love the whole design process from start to finish! I love that you can start out with a drawing on a piece of paper or an idea in your head but then when you actually start to work on a piece that it can turn out completely different and very often much better than the original starting point. Designing and making headpieces is so liberating compared to clothes, as there are no restrictions. You can create something as small or big as you want to, as long as it stays on the head and is comfortable, there are no other rules!

WOE: How long is taking you to made one headpiece?
Loraine: It really depends on the size and the detail involved in the headpiece. Most of my headpieces are quite detailed and I can spend hours and hours on them until I am happy with it. I have a lot of pieces that I start making but don’t finish till months later until I find the perfect finsihing touch to it. I am a complete perfectionist so it normally always take me longer than I think to complete a piece. It really is a labour of love though and if I could I would just make them the whole time, every hour of every day!


WOE: How do you describe your style?

Loraine: My label, Mes Petits Chapeaux, is predominantly very french in style, as the name suggests, inspired by mysterious and alluring women with a ‘look but don’t touch’ attitude. I am very influenced by the 1920’s/1940’s and style and cultural Icons throughout the ages such as Louise Brooks, Josephine Baker, Coco Chanel, Edith Piaff, Ava Gardner and more to date, Dita von Teese. On my pieces I use lots of swarovski rhinestones for sparkle and bling, pearls and lace for a touch of romance and little butterflies and birds for a sense of fun! As I am inspired by so many different sources, my style can change from day to day.. so some of my pieces are romantic and girly, some are sexy and burlesquey and some are edgy and a bit on the dark side… but always my headpieces are designed and made to very high standards in order to make the wearer feel amazing and untouchable….the perfect femme fatale ..


WOE: How can people see your work and contact you?
Loraine: You can view my work and also contact me through my website www.lorainedomican.com. I have a showroom off my house in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, where my customers can make an appointment to see and try on my full range of headpieces and accessories, plus I also have a smaller space in Chapelizod, Co. Dublin. I have several pieces for hire in Foxrock Fillies Hathire Boutique in Blackrock and I sell my range of  handmade lace flower headbands in Frill Boutique in Kilcullen. I am hoping ot add to the list of shops over the next couple of months but in the meantime for any enquiries about any my work contact me directly at hello@lorainedomican.com.

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