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Waikato milliner preparing hats for Melbourne Cup fashion

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Elegant Waikato milliner Monika Neuhauser is getting ready for a busy spring season making one-off hats for those special race-day events such as the glamorous Melbourne Cup.

Neuhauser is based in the small Waikato township of Pirongia but despite its size her client base is truly becoming international.

She is, to the best of her knowledge, the only milliner based in the Waikato region.

"There is not exactly an abundance of milliners in New Zealand and I'm the only one that I'm aware of in the Waikato," she said.

Neuhauser specialises in handmade bespoke and readymade hats, headpieces and fascinators for race-days, weddings, bridal, cocktail or other formal events.

Neuhauser loves race-days such as Melbourne Cup day to show off her special fascinators designed for the occasion.

She says her hats are ideal for race-day goers, fashion in the field contestants, brides and wedding guests and overall fashionable ladies.

Neuhauser says she is very capable of providing personal service to deliver a quality one-off design hat or headpiece.

"I love fashion and try to stay up to date with all the trends. I always try and provide the best possible product, fitting the occasion and the personality of the wearer," she said.

Neuhauser likes to have a good working relationship with her client. "I am very approachable and I believe that wearing a hat is fun so I bring that into my dealings with clients.

"I have past experience in the fashion field, in particular the optical area where I was well known for finding that frame for customers and picking the right product to purchase.

"I'm very good at reading people and I find it quite easy to see where they are fashion-wise, what they are comfortable with and how far they can be pushed towards something new," Neuhauser said.

"From the feedback I get from clients and facebook friends, my designs are fun but elegant, each piece is a one off - so a client is never in danger to run into someone wearing the same piece. Individuality is a big key for me. I keep a very close eye on the international trends and try and bring that into my designs."

"For me it's very rewarding to make a piece for a client and they look and feel a million dollars. If somebody contacts me from England to have a piece made and send over it's hugely rewarding and exciting.

"Outfits topped with my hats or hat pieces have been fashion in the field finalists or runner-ups and most importantly I get repeat clients - the biggest conformation that I'm doing something right," she says.

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