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Fashion tips with Haili Z: Milliner on my radar

By By Haili Z
Oct. 10, 2013 at 5:10 a.m.

Reny Kestel Millinery hat in Perth, Australia.

Reny Kestel Millinery brings a new edge to contemporary hat wearing; combining traditional millinery techniques with innovative designs to create couture pieces that are architectural, focusing on sculptural shape and line elements.

Each one meticulously crafted by hand in her Perth studio, from trackside showstoppers at the races to subtle headpieces for brides.

The label was launched in March 2010 and over the past three years has grown steadily and attracted a wide range of clientele around Perth and interstate, gracing the heads of personalities like Zara Phillips, Francesca Cumani, Sonia Kruger, Teresa Palmer, Karina Carvalho and Diana Glenn.

Editorial coverage of Reny Kestel Millinery has been vast across Australia and international publications, including Vogue Italia and Marie Claire.

I had the opportunity to explore and shop Reny Kestel's studio and storefront labeled Hat Box in Perth. As soon as I stepped foot in the shop, I was completely mesmerized by the beautiful designs. Kestel let me play a bit of dress up as I Instagrammed live shots from my visit. I also took notice of her in-house studio, where she creates new designs and hats in the back of the store. I loved several hats; of course, I chose all of the upmost expensive designs during my visit.

Kestel's taste for the avant-garde mixed with her eye for detail results in designs, which are both exquisite and wearable. Taking inspiration from sources such as modern art, local artisans, birds and animal textures and architecture, Kestel seeks to modernize millinery with a fresh look at how we dress the head today.

While in Perth, I had the opportunity to interview Kestel. I wanted to know more about the Perth native to share with my readers. Get to know more about the talented milliner, whom I think will dress Kate Middleton in the near future. Kestel reveals her favorite music, her inspiration for future designs before creating her beautiful fascinators, her favorite things about Perth, Australia, and tips for the first-time traveler to her city. Get to know milliner Reny Kestel.

Whom have you dressed in the past?

Zara Phillips (Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter)

Do you carry in the U.S.? Will you ship to the U.S.?

No stockists in the U.S., but my new online boutique will ship international including the U.S.

Where do you find inspiration in designing your hats?

Many different ways: fashion trends, looking at silhouettes, fabric details, textures and colors for the upcoming seasons. Sourcing new materials often starts the collections direction. The rest, I think, is subconscious; me just picking up on things I've spotted from walking down the street to a friend's Instagram picture.

What are you listening to right now?

I am still loving the new Daft Punk album "Random Access Memories."

Are you from Perth? What is your favorite thing about Perth?

: Yes, I was born in a little town just north of Perth, but I have lived here for most my life. Traveling the world really makes you appreciate Perth's weather and Perth's laid-back lifestyle. During this interview, would you believe that it has been week three of this monsoon rainy weather and gale force winds type of weather - not usually like this during spring (fall for the U.S. during our spring here in Perth) - and to think I'm harping on how good our weather is here.

What would you recommend to visitors to do while they are visiting Perth?

Come visit me and walk across the road for lunch at Sayers Sisters, followed by a stroll through Hyde Park.

What celebrities inspire your work?

I don't really follow anyone in particular, but I do like watching the Royals. They are always rocking a good hat.

What is your favorite holiday location?

Broome and the Kimberley (Australia's Northwest). Love the sun, beaches and fishing.

Is there a TV show you could see your hats in?

I'd love to do more sci-fi mythological headpieces, maybe the next Game of Throne series.

Haili's side note: (When Reny says this, a vision comes to mind of her creating custom headpieces for the Capitol in "The Hunger Games." As a wardrobe stylist, I cannot help but envision where Reny's talent will take her.)

Where do you hope to be in the next couple of years?

Still doing millinery and growing the business from Perth both locally and internationally.

Three words that describe you best?

Minimalist, architectural and edgy.

Favorite colors to use when you are designing?

Mostly neutral, Black, white, gray and at the moment I'm into lilac.

What do you do to get in the zone when you start designing? Do you light a candle and or listen to music?

Firstly, I have to tidy and clear up my workshop room so I can focus; it can get very messy very quickly. This usually involves me putting on Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" and me furiously putting all of the creative explosions back into their proper places.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I have no idea, but something creative.

Most exciting moment of your career as a milliner thus far?

I really have enjoyed working with fellow Perth designer Aurelio Costarella in headwear collaborations for his SS12/13 and SS13/14 collections showcased in Sydney Fashion week. He took this recent collection to New York Fashion week; models looked amazing.

Haili Pue is the president of All Ze Details. Visit her website at allzedetails.com

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