In 1994 I started wearing some fabric hats that I had designed and made for myself, but I was so frequently asked where I had bought these hats, that I decided to market a range. This was the beginning of Fiona Dixon Designs.
At the time I lived in the Goldfields in Western Australia and very quickly I was supplying hats for the annual “Race Round” to local shops and filling custom orders. These styles were later stocked in the Perth stores Aherns and Subiaco Hatters.
I returned to the family farm in 1997, and began attending classes in Perth where I learnt the time-honoured millinery skills used to create couture headwear using straws or felt. I found making the more elaborate hat styles very inspiring and the individual custom millinery has since become my passion. The reward of a satisfied client to me is immeasurable.
I continued to research and collect vintage millinery and fashion books from around the world to expand my skills and I subscribe to European trade magazines to keep up to date with international trends and materials.
I regularly travel east to attend classes given by national and international millinery tutors that attend the Millinery Conventions and Millinery Forums at various locations within Australia to continue my personal development.
These conventions allow fantastic networking opportunities between milliners from not only Australia, but worldwide.
During one of these conventions, one of the personal highlights was to attend a class and hear the personal stories of the Director of Christian Dior Millinery Department of 15 years, Marie O”Regan. She was the Queen Mother’s milliner also for many years.
I am now located in Perth where I have expanded my designs to include a bridal range and work in collaboration with local designers and retail stores. Other collaborations have included Liz Davenport, Jean Frances Bridal Couture, Shion Designs and Breathless.
In 2005, I was on the judging panel for the Spring Racing Carnival Perth heats of Fashions on the Field contest which is run by Myers.
I thoroughly enjoy assisting West Australian women to choose individual, elegant headwear and hat designs that make them feel Fabulous.
I look forward to meeting you in the future.