Fascinating Find..in time for Melbourne Cup.
Meet Georgette de Vil.
She (feminine, like a boat) is elegant yet cheeky, sophisticated but slightly wicked, and what’s even more striking yet surprising is just where I met her.
Airlie Beach is a sleepy, sweet-paced gateway town to the Whitsundays in Queensland. A stop-over for backpackers and home to locals, who rely on the tourist trade to keep theirs going.
Every Saturday stalls out number sailing boats as the local markets fan out along the spectacularly scenic shoreline.
It is one of the best markets I’ve been to anywhere, and that includes the famous markets at the Rocks in Sydney.
So to stumble across a fashion find in a not-known-for-couture-kind of place, just days before the Melbourne Cup is hard to top.
My individually named, hand-made fascinator, is a one of the many one-off creations by Airlie Beach local Sarah Homburg, who is just as vivacious as the pieces she designs.
Sarah names and characterises her creations and also introduced me to Magnolia, Gypsy Soleil and St Tropez Kisses; all spirited and colourful individuals themselves.
I didn’t gravitate to Georgette because of her name, (which incidentally is how I pick bets in horse races), but because I thought she’d get along with everyone currently living in my closet and those who may move in, down the track.
Georgette is a little more demure colour-wise than some of her head-piece sisters that scream ‘party girl’ or ‘last one to leave’, but she was also stylish enough to stand out.
Pretty much like her creator. Sarah owned a store in Airlie beach called Divalicious, which she was forced to close in February this year due to a tough retail climate.
Sarah’s husband works in the mining industry and they are based in the Pacific Ocean port to be close to his workplace, so she didn’t have the option to move her business to a busier and bigger centre.
” I tried to hang in there as long as I could, but I just couldn’t make it work,” she said sadly.
” I was selling my fascinators in the store and they were really popular, so when I closed the doors I just kept going with them,” she said.
” Now I sell them here at the markets and online.”
Of course Georgette and I will be out flying our feathers tomorrow, and it’s a sure bet someone will ask where we met.
Next year, I’ll look for some members of George’s (by then I’m sure we will be friendly enough for me to call her that) fascinating family as I think Sarah is definitely on a short-odds fashion winner.
(FOOTNOTE: Georgette won best fascinator at Gambaros Melbourne Cup function 2012)