21c celebrates the Derby racing season by bringing renowned Australian designer and Master Milliner Paris Kyne for an exhibition of artistic custom hat-making. Inspired by the sea of color he experienced at his first trip to the Kentucky Derby, Kyne has created 13 hats for this exhibition based on the colors of the silks of previous Kentucky Derby winners.
At the forefront of the exhibition is his tribute to the 2007 Derby winner Street Sense who made a memorable move from second-place to a win on the final stretch. This remarkable piece is a stunning yellow simmay wave with vintage royal blue Swiss straw braid edges and a large feather shooting through the entire piece to symbolize the dynamism of the track. This exhibition, The Colour of Racing, is a stunning homage to all the color, movement, and spirit of horse racing.
In addition, Kyne is making a special trip from Australia for a workshop in which a selection of similar and custom hats will be for sale through the 21c Museum Shop. Don’t miss your chance to meet the Master Milliner during his daily workshop and receive complimentary fittings and alterations from the Master himself with a purchase from the 21c Museum Shop.
About the Designer
Born Michael Francis Kyne, “Paris” has been crafting one-of-a kind headwear for over twenty years and prides himself on meticulous selection of unique and vintage materials. His search for textiles, trims and tools for his creations take him around the globe and he has accumulated a collection of over 700 hat blocks, some of which are up to 120 years old. “Each year, I spend copious amounts of time rediscovering the lost techniques of millinery. This is mainly achieved by purchasing old and unusual hats in opp-shops, taking them apart very carefully to learn anything that is hidden below the surface. These techniques are later applied to modern fabrics in new ways,” explains Paris.
Paris studied fashion and millinery in London and received his technical knowledge and sound manufacturing skills working in Australia for the late internationally beloved celebrity milliner William Beale. While Paris’ creations have adorned celebrities, including Paris and Nicky Hilton, and are on permanent display at the Australian Racing Museum, Paris himself can be described as an art piece. As a self-described “fashion adjudicator”, Paris is well known in Melbourne for his endless energy and sometimes surprising wardrobe. He often serves as a television commentator for fashion and social events. When asked about his persona, Paris quipped “life’s a party, full of photo opportunities.”