Christie Murray from Christie Millinery found her love for millinery by chance after walking into a store. “I actually came across a millinery shop and it was a totally instinctive thing, like I just walked into this shop and was just sort of left speechless about what was around me.”
“I couldn’t describe why but I just sort of got lost in the shop and ever since then I’ve had this feeling that it was what I was meant to do. I still went and did my degree and travelled and did all that stuff but I still had that same bubbly feeling when I thought of millinery.”
Christie said that she had to do justice to this gut feeling that she had so she moved to Melbourne and did a course in millinery. She ended up becoming a physio but always knew that millinery was what she was meant to do.
After deciding to go out on her own Christie reached out to Creative Enterprises Australia, a creative co working space that runs out of QUT campus. “It’s a big hub of small creative businesses and they have an area that’s dedicated to fashion businesses and have a program that helps people to launch their own businesses.”
Christie was the first milliner to be accepted into their program.
“From a business perspective the biggest lesson I have learnt is the power of your brand and how important it is to be true to what you’re about with every decision you make as a business. It’s a constant evolution, you’re trying to find out who you are and what you’re about but the thing about really good brands is that they have this core DNA to who they are. Whether it be words or feelings or an aesthetic or a design type, but everything you do has to speak to that brand.”
One of her career highlights include a collaboration with Australian label Camilla last year, where Christie made headwear for all their stores around Australia and for David Jones.
Her plans for the future include breaking into the bridal market. “At the moment I’m shifting my focus from fashion to bridal headwear, I’m in the middle of designing a new manufacturing process of bridal headwear that combines traditional millinery headwear, sort of couture elements with modern manufacturing processes. My goal is to bring a modern edge to a traditional art form.”
Christie was also lucky enough to be approached by Vogue to do headwear for the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. She designed 5 different headwear pieces with all of them saying Vogue, each made of different mediums. One was made of feathers, one was made from a 3D printed Vogue in script writing with Swarovski crystals all over it and one 3D printed Vogue lit up with LED lights.
“The coolest thing was that I had no idea how they were styling the show, but the most amazing thing was that just as the show was about to start all the lights went out and Madonna’s Vogue song came on, all these strobe lights started going around and this model came out on the runway. She was wearing just my Vogue headpiece lit up, but everything else was dark and as a designer that’s kind of a dream.”
Christie’s favourite places in Brisbane include, Bakers Arms in Woolloongabba, New Farm Park, Mount Coot-tha, and hiking in D’Aguilar National Forest.
Her three words to describe Brisbane are, eclectic, the perfect size and great weather.