Episode 54: House of Hats

The House of Hats Green Cloche

“If you have a head you can wear a hat”.

It’s not surprising that this sentence came out of the mouth of a passionate milliner.

Someone who can remember being enamored with a vintage hat when she was 8 years old.

It’s time for you to meet the artist behind the incredible House of Hats Ilana Meilak.


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You might think that when someone develops a love of hats early in their childhood that becoming a milliner is the clear career choice.

But for Ilana Meilak it was a journey to become the vintage inspired hat designer she is today.

And it all began with her dad.

The house of Hats Milliner Syndey

Ilana’s dad was a lover of old things. He had a business buying and restoring vintage brass beds and it means that Ilana would often spend her time in antique stores.

While her father spoke with adults, her mind would run wild as she explored the stores and warehouses looking at the dresses, the hats, the jewelery thinking of how these pieces would feel being worn and day dreaming of the time she could wear them!

Milliner Ilana vintage Lover Sydney

So it was only natural that her earliest memory of a hat was when she was eight in an antique store in Hobart Australia.

It was a 1920’s black felt cloche hat that stole the young collectors heart and started her on a journey that would end with her creating incredible vintage inspired pieces for others.

More on that shortly.

Because as Ilana grew and left school, it wasn’t clear to her that she could make the thing she loved her career.

She dabbled in creative fields. A bit of fashion design, makeup artistry, visual marketing before at 25 she proclaimed to her family that she was going to become a milliner.

And the career fit as well as some of her vintage hats!

Ilana has combined vintage style and techniques with the modern necessities of hat design.

Through House of Hats, she is creating individual pieces and designs that are versatile and can be worn to any sort of occasion and event.

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So take Ilana’s challenge – see if you can wear a hat or headpiece every day this year.

And to learn more about her passion for hats, her collection and House of Hats check out our chat with Ilana in the latest episode.

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