Heather McDowall Headpiece 2
This piece called 'Lovise' was created by Heather McDowall and will be gifted to Hollywood film and TV award-nominees. millinerybyheathermcdowall.com

When the models came parading down for one of Western Australia's most successful designers Aurelio Costarella at this year’s Australia Fashion Week, the exciting and imaginative headgears that they were wearing turned the heads of many sitting in the audience. They were Heather McDowall’s creation.

Sydney-based McDowall has already achieved significant success in her relatively short career as a milliner. She is now looking at the stars -- aiming to become the next great milliner to the stars.

McDowall is working with a gifting company, and as part of their deal, a selection of her headpieces will be gifted to the female nominees for the upcoming Hollywood film and TV awards -- some of the major events on the Hollywood calendar. The names of the specific award shows have not been disclosed because the company does not officially sponsor them.

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, Australia Edition, McDowall talked about her growing millinery business and the striking stars she’s most eager to see wear her designs.

What led you to begin your millinery business?

I began my creative journey with aspirations of becoming a fashion designer. I used to make outfits for people to wear to the races, which is where I got my taste for millinery. I would then make headpieces to go with the outfits as well. When my clients started winning awards for best millinery, the transition over to millinery began. Designing and making garments from scratch is also very time consuming and can be a costly exercise for the client. So much time goes into making the pattern, making up a toile (mock-up), making changes to the toile and pattern, laying up the patterns on the fabric, cutting them out -- then sewing up the final garment. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

I find creatively my clients are bolder with headpieces than they would be with clothes. I guess it’s a matter of the accessories being the one thing that gives you the point of difference and helps you to stand out from others. So, as a designer I feel I can really express myself and throw my creativity into amazing headpieces that take less time to make than clothes. Win-win!

You recently made contact with a company that produces gift bags for major Hollywood award shows and guests on TV shows like “Ellen." What prompted you to make this move?

If I wanted to get my pieces in the hands of celebrities, what better way to promote my product than through one of these companies? If you send items straight to celebrities you never really know if they receive it or not. I find this way a lot less invasive for them, as it is part of a little welcoming package that is gifted to them upon arriving at their luxury hotel. So, I wanted my product to be a part of a really nice experience for them, not shoved in their face, saying, ‘Here, wear this!’ I wanted it to be more like: ‘Welcome to our hotel, here is a little gift for you!’

Are you excited about any star in particular being gifted one of your headpieces?

Sofía Vergara. Definitely. She is just beautiful and I know she would wear the crown well. All the cast from “Modern Family” are just hilarious and play their characters so well -- Sarah Hyland and Ariel Winter, I love them both!

Also, the cast members from “Game of Thrones." Emilia Clarke: well, why wouldn’t you want the ‘Mother of Dragons’ to be snapped wearing one of your pieces? Maisie Williams: she’s just quirky, cool, and posts the funniest things on social media. Sophie Turner is just beautiful. Natalie Dormer: what can I say? She’s just funky and I would love to see her wear a crown.

Where would you like to take your business into the future?

I want to be the milliner to the stars -- the name on everyone’s lips when they want a beautiful headpiece made.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.