Philomena Kwok: the futuristic Australian milliner

Designs by Australian based designer Philomena Kwok

Finance. That’s what Philomena Kwok said she does during the day. Well, along with study for her master’s degree—in finance. Quite the shock for this Australian-based left brain-right brain milliner that seems to more than moonlight on her couture and ready-to-wear lines that she began in 2009.

Starting her career in accessories, she received a jewelry design certificate at the College of Fine Arts and then began designing bridal headpieces. From here, she transitioned into millinery, working under some of the best in Sydney where she learned the trade and came into her own. The past two years have been filled with experimenting and developing Featherhead, her line of headpieces that includes her wildly fantastic faciscinators.

Inspired by color blocking, lines and textures, her style is part architecturally based and part futuristic and her pieces have landed on women that want a little je ne sais quoi into their wardrobe for everything from weddings, the Australian racing scene and those be seen at fetes.

Philomena calls the work a labor love, with a process that includes “hand stitching, steaming, shaping, shaving and tweaking” while working with a range of fabrics and materials all done by herself in her small studio space. Her recent collection, Erosive Radiance takes a forward approach on 1920’s silhouettes, made distinctive by strong curves and textures while Modular, her origami inspired pieces allows to show her creativity albeit far from functional.

Modular collection by Philomena Kwok in collaboration with Tara Sutton (hair). Photographed by Claire Wallman and makeup by Casey Gore.
A collaboration between Philomena Kwok Millinery and Flowers For a Vagabond. Photographed by Claire Wallman, makeup by Casey Gore, hair by Tara Sutton and Angelique Toy, model.


Her work has been well-received and with projects like Escada’s Melbourne Cup Parade and Australian Fashion Week, she is building her name. Now, she is committed to honing her skills, developing her signature and continuing to push the boundaries and with a muse like Daphne Guinness, and unrestricted creative vision, her designs will surely be atop many lucky heads.

Check out more of her work at Philomena Kwok
Emerging designer? Feel free to contact us at hello@theemergingdesigner.com

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