The Maureen Schmitzer Story
My new found skill commenced in 2004. I was attending a classical music concert/fashion parade of designer clothes in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia , in a fabulous venue on the slopes of Castle Hill overlooking the city below. There were many prizes on the day and I won two: one was for creating something to wear from the bits and pieces on the table – bits and pieces of twine, lolly wrappers, pins, pieces of material, beads – just all sorts. Well, the creative side came out then as I won the prize for making a matching tiara and necklace. I think I won a “hairdo” for that effort.
Next I won the lucky door prize – and no, no, it wasn’t a door, it was a $50 voucher at the designer’s boutique of the fashion parade. Well, what would I do with a $2000 gown in Townsville and besides I wasn’t size 6 – so I went to the designer for advice and she informed me she held hat making classes – now, this class cost me many hundreds of dollars on top of my $50 prize but, well, it changed my life!!! I would never have undertaken this course otherwise.
A Fabulous Red Hat, that changed my life…
So after many weeks I created the most beautiful extravaganza – a fabulous red hat with a turned up brim, brimming with feathers. I found my life changing as I donned my prized hat creation – I started attending the horse races (not that I ever saw any horses) but entered the Fashions of the Field. I won many prizes and got into the top 10 finals at many events with this wonderful red hat.
I actually won best hat at one racing event!
Award Winning Fashion Hats
Then I ventured further afield and voyaged on a cruise ship from Sydney to Melbourne to attend the famous Australian race meeting – the Melbourne Cup . For this event I resurrected a bright pink hat with a teal blue Fascinator and wore it with a Thai silk pink and teal blue suit. I didn’t make the final in the Melbourne Cup Fashions but I was interviewed by the Melbourne Herald and my hat story was published in that newspaper.
The following day I went off to the Kyneton Races – a big event in the Spring Racing Carnival and again my splendiferous red hat was runner up. I was thrilled about this win, as there were some lovely hats by some famous milliners at this event.
The Birth of Fashion Fascinators
From here I branched out into making Fashion Fascinators as I realised from the reaction of friends and associates that there was a market available for my designs. Firstly, I just created for friends, then set up in market places, and eventually my home based industry became in such high demand that now, I have ladies knocking at my door, in groups, with their outfits, shoes and jewellery, and we just “make them something” if I don’t have something in stock which suits.
Fabulous Fashion FascinatorsStandard Range or Custom Designs
I have many standard design fascinators in stock, and these can be viewed in our gallery, but I am also able to create Fashion Fascinators in individual styles or colours upon request.
I have a delightful range of fabrics, feathers and flowers for adornments, etc. The fabric can be dyed or spray painted to allow for the correct colour, and I have a never ending supply of feathers in all shapes, sizes, and colours. I travel the world extensively and so am always looking for different feathers and “bits” to bring home for my creations. So someone who has purchased a Fashion Fascinator by Maurs may live in England or New York City and be resplendent with a feather which I’ve found in Copenhagen, truly international flavour.
Fascinators – In Vogue Fashion Accessories
Fascinators are in vogue again and are not only worn to the horse racing meetings. They are now popular at formal after 5 functions, i.e., balls, presentations, school graduations, etc. Fashion Fascinators can be a lavish, artistic fashion statement, or they can be created smaller, to give a more subtle effect.
I also create a much smaller matching version of the Fascinator which can either be attached to one’s handbag; worn on one’s outfit; or attached to one’s partner’s lapel.
A particularly lovely fashion statement at any event is a man bearing a miniature lapel embellishment of the lady’s Fashion Fascinator.
Fascinators for Weddings. Bride, Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride?
Weddings are another option especially with the advent of beach and casual weddings. My own daughter’s wedding was on the beach on North Queensland and Frangipani was the theme. We created for her a white Fashion Fascinator with pale pink frangipani, and the two bridesmaids had smaller Fashion Fascinators but in pink. Very lovely. A Fashion Fascinator can be created to which a veil could be attached also.
Mothers of the Bride and Groom are another group of people who wear Fashion Fascinators. The Mother of The Bride will normally choose a subtle fascinator, to maintain the limelight on the special wedding of their child. I have a particularly lovely design simply made up of soft feathers (in whatever colour desired) and it’s soft, pretty, and just floats. I make it on a clip and it’s easy to stay in even the shortest of hair.