Foldable like an elegant fan, folk inspired but simplistic patterns in chic color schemes, all hand crafted with natural materials: Australian based textile artist Lorna Murray combines sun protection with grace and sustainability. Far from sport caps and stereotype straws, her modern millinery incorporates grace but also an effortless practicability.

Read about her approach and inspiration on materials and fashion in our interview

How did you start hat making? 

My hat making journey began in art school. I’d often find myself working in that interesting space between art and fashion. I’d always preferred to work three dimensionally rather than two dimensionally. I majored in textiles, experimenting a lot with designing garments for hot climates, so moving to hats was a natural progression.

What is your inspiration?

My muse is the adventuress and the wanderlust traveller. Where effortless casual glamour meets boheme and the sea. In my mostly hands-on creative profession a lot of my inspiration comes from daily life and experimenting with materials. A really broad range of sources inspire my creative practice; from raw materials, hot climates, eclectic urban environments and natural landscapes. I am drawn to rich craft-based histories, especially textile related. I experience the world through a creative lens and am inspired by people who seek to become highly skilled at something, people who spend years perfecting their craft and being innovative.

Can you tell me a bit about the materials you work with?

I have always had a penchant for natural materials so I tend to focus my energy in this direction. It is the inherent variations in colour, texture, structure, and fibre that keeps me inspired and sustained. These materials also tend to use much fewer toxins in production processes because they don’t need to be fundamentally changed. 

What role does sustainability play in your work? 

Sustainability for me is about Caring. Caring where my materials come from and how they have been prepared. Keeping an all natural approach as much as possible in the resources we use. Caring about the artisans who create the pieces for my label; their working conditions, their health and safety in the workplace, their income and social sustainability in the studio. Caring about my consumers and helping them understand how our products are made and the unique effort and workmanship involved in creating each piece. I believe there is an ethical responsibility in the practices we adopt and in the materials we use. Our focus is on a circular fashion model rather than one that is linear and unsustainable. 

What does handmade mean to you?

For me handmade relates to the artisanal aspect of craftsmanship. It’s when the designer, the artisan or the craftsperson is integral to the design and creation of pieces. It requires a hands-on process, it may or may not require the assistance of a machine and is regularly monitored by the human eye. When it comes to craftsmanship, the process can be considered almost as important as the final product itself. Handmade just feels better for your conscience.

Hand made items have the ability to exude skill and artistry and it is refreshing to see consumers embracing this once again after a period of mass fast fashion. There is a personal touch acquired to handmade items that can’t be acquired by automated machine made items.


Laura Dunkelmann
[Photo ]
Pr / @dreambelievers
August 20, 2019
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