Paris Kyne
Master Milliner

Master Milliner

salonFashion touches our life every moment we are awake. We judge people by what they wear, we aspire to people who are well styled and we maintain our natural heating and cooling systems with clothing. Some people even go so far as to worship fashion.

At Paris Kyne - Master Milliner expect the unexpected and expect the best.

The salon contains dozens of hats from the awe inspiring to understated chic. Located in the Couture Heart of Melbourne, this sumptuously appointed Salon differs from most shops, with its pink parachuted draped walls, multi coloured crystal bejewelled mirrors and huge art deco leadlight doors that separate the salon from the work room. Every piece offered for sale in the salon is handcrafted in the workroom.



Race WearParis’ hats are seen at racecourses around the world from England’s Ascot to Dubai’s Nad Al Sheba, from France’s Long Champ to America’s Saratoga, Pimlico and the home of the Kentucky Derby - Churchill Downs and of course all the tracks in his native Australia.

The Australian racing community regard Paris as their own. Many ‘Fashions on the Field’ winners and finalists have been wearing the Paris Kyne label. The committee rooms and marquees of all the major tracks are always brimming full of Paris’ designs and the racetracks themselves, are embellished with his beautiful creations.



Little Collins Street workroomThe creation of any hat starts with design. The Salon stocks over 150 of Paris’ designs, ready to wear, at any given time. All of these models are one-off creations - no designs are duplicated and Paris ensures that only the finest materials are used in the construction of his hats.

Paris loves shopping and each year sources materials, trims and new techniques from around the world and so let’s look at his favourite haunts. New York for Italian glass beads and wired components for the hat pin range. Los Angeles for fabrics from the garment district. Whilst in Europe, the choices are endless, but his favourite would have to be the town of St Gallen in Switzerland for the fine laces and straw braid that have been made in the region for hundreds of years. Also, the huge textile museum in the town is always hosting fantastic exhibitions. Fabrics from this area are also incredible with the workmanship being superb. Munich provides bits of second-hand millinery equipment that are no longer in production and anywhere in Bavaria for wheat beer. Although it is not used in the manufacture of fine millinery, Paris believes wheat beer is essential to leading a happy and healthy lifestyle. London is the home of many of the world’s great supply houses that source product from all over the world. His favourite would have to be a tassel and braid supplier down in the dark basement in an incredibly ancient building just off Oxford Street. Portobello Road on a Saturday morning is a must see for what the world once manufactured and to purchase antique beads, veiling and brooches. There is also a bookshop that specialises in fashion, both technical and historical books (that place is always a killer on the bank balance). His overseas trips also guarantee that the latest styles and trends are available.

Paris Kyne millinery is all constructed by hand, and by Paris himself, including most of the trims used. This keeps Paris Kyne at the forefront of Australian millinery. Paris hand blocks all of his hats utilizing his personal collection of just over 500 blocks, some of which are up to 120 years old. Paris’ styles range from the more traditional to architectural works of art.Service


With a keen eye for detail, Paris ensures that each hat is fitted specifically for the client. Advice regarding shape, style and colour are an integral part of the Paris Kyne experience.

Made to measure is a large part of Paris’ business. Consultation with the client in regard to the outfit and accessories to be worn with the hat ensures that no client will walk away with an unsuitable hat.

Accidents can happen, and Paris is a specialist in repairs and resizing of both ladies’ and men’s hats. As fashions change, Paris will also re-trim and renovate older models.

Part of the Mannequin head collectionTHE MANNEQUIN HEAD COLLECTION

The Mannequin head collection consists of 20 fully restored and three yet to me restored pieces dating from 1910 to 1970, which include five pieces from Sneddons Millinery, Coburg. The first five of the collection were acquired from Marilla Hats in Hobart when they closed in 1993 and the rest from all around Australia. The collection is loaned to various museums with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) being the most regular recipient.


The workroom at Paris Kyne - Master Milliner holds the largest collection of hat blocks in Australia, currently numbering just over 500. The Collection includes pieces that once belonged to Melbourne milliners Ann Austin, Marie Therese Ward, Thomas Harrison, Ronald Bernard, William Beale and Sneddons Millinery. The most recent acquisitions are a set of blocks named “Sucession”. Whilst in London in 2006, Paris had an idea to design a completely new way a sectional block works. In theory if both sides are different and made as separate pieces then they can be interchanged with other sides. Twelve sides have been made so far with more to follow. This system gives endless variations to the classic top hat shape e.g. Hamburg / top hat or half flat top / half asymmetrical top hat.

Part of the Hat block collectionThe largest block in the collection is a brim that was also designed to double as a coolie. It is 91cm from one side to the other, was made to measure by a South Australian block maker and arrived in the workroom on 27 July 2003. A hat made on it, The Stingray, can be viewed in images section of the web site under “Trust Me, Believe Me, THRILL ME” - the 2005 Spring Launch. The smallest block is a miniature top hat that stands 4cm high and 5 cm across the tip. It arrived in the workroom on 25 July 2002 along with 21 other blocks, their last owner was Frederick Fox Ltd in London.

The most cherished block would be one of the last four remaining from the Tivolli Theatre Melbourne and it is a crown block and shaped to resemble a ram’s horn.

The cheapest would be a Kauri Pine dome bought from an opportunity shop in 1989. It cost $2.50 and was the seventh block in the collection. That is if you could call seven blocks a collection !!

The most unusual component in the collection is a set of 16 blocks made in Germany in 1941. They are made of compressed saw-dust, glue and paper pulp. Germany was at war with the world, resources were scarce and compressed sawdust was clearly an option. To have a collection of 16 blocks made by one firm for the winter of 1941 in Germany is a pretty remarkable feat.


Simon BainbridgeSimon Bainbridge
1st Assistant to Paris

Simon met Paris at a dinner party back in 1989 and a friendship was formed. Since then he has had a teddy bear shop called “Teddy’s Bear Emporium” in Elsternwick, then he became a costume and prop maker which now fills most of his time.

Some of his creations have included a giant camel, a nude suit, a vibrating potato, breakaway chairs (to smash over somebody’s head), ice skating fruit, a grasshopper costume and the Tanz der Vampire bed for Paris’s home.

TV work includes a lint monster for “Round the Twist”, a giant koala hand for “Wicked Science”, flags, pillowcases and other military set dressing components for “The Pacific”, and the skeleton of the Easter Bunny for “John Safron versus God”. Film work has included a dog puppet for “Where The Wild Things Are”, costumes for “Hating Alison Ashley” and fake fairy floss, cupi dolls and other period props for “Charlottes Web”.

When in the salon and workroom his workload includes making both ribbon work and crin headpieces, serving clients and reminding Paris which job has to be done next.

Personal Consultant to Paris

Gertie has been with Paris Kyne for fourteen years now and has helped guide the firm through much troubled water and many a sleepless night. His specialty is unconditional love and forgiveness.

Gertie’s current life aim is to be photographed in front of the thirteen greatest pieces of architecture in the world. Already shot are Space Mountain at Disneyland and the Guggenheim in New York 2003. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water was the location for the 2005 shot. Secession, the Josef Maria Olbrich art nouveau master piece was unfortunately the only location shot in 2006 on the same day the Kunsthauswein by architect Hundertwasser was to be photographed, but due to inclement weather had to be postponed, as everyone knows a bear with wet fur is a rather grumpy travelling companion. Future shots will be staged at Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, The Pompidou in Paris and Hotel Evropa in Prague.

Paris Kyne

A London trained, award winning, veteran of twenty-two years, Paris received his technical knowledge and sound manufacturing technique working for internationally renowned, celebrity milliner, the late William Beale.

Opening his own Salon in 1994 in Malvern, Paris relocated his Salon and workrooms to the exclusive Toorak Village in 2000, then in 2011 moved them into Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Paris has cemented his position as Australia’s foremost milliner, crafting hats for celebrities, socialites and the international jet set. His reputation as the “bad boy of millinery” has stemmed from his avant-garde approach to design and his outspoken and uncompromising views on the lack of good millinery production, and disregard of basic technique, within the Australian millinery industry.

Paris is a fashion adjudicator, writer and commentator with regular columns in several leading journals. He is also a well-known identity within racing and society circles and is a consultant with several fashion designers including J’Aton, Cinema Haute Couture and Black Rose.

Shopping at the Salon of Paris Kyne - Master Milliner is always an experience, and as Paris himself often sings “I am the very model of a modern master milliner.”

A short profile of Paris Kyne – Master Milliner

When it comes to millinery, Paris Kyne is undoubtedly one of the Australian industry’s finest talents. Having launched his career over 24 years ago, Kyne has come a long way; his most recent successes include an exhibition of 60 pieces at the Kentucky Derby 133 Festival in May 2007 and another American exhibition in 2009.

Kyne always knew he wanted to work in an industry where he could use his creative ability. He looked into visual merchandising then hairdressing before he eventually fell into millinery, starting in mass production.

Having trained in Australia and London, Kyne’s career highlights to date have included being inducted into the City of Stonnington’s Fashion Hall of Fame in 2008 and working with Paris Hilton when she attended the 2003 Melbourne Cup Carnival. Her stylist rang and asked him for a white hat which he whipped up overnight. Her look and presence at the Carnival caused a media frenzy!

Each year he travels to the seven corners of the globe to find new and unusual materials and techniques to use in his work. These trips also provide endless inspiration for millinery applications.

Other clients of Kyne’s have included Tara Moss, Molly Meldrum, Paris Hilton, Marcia Hines, Diane Masters, Anna Mott and various female cast members of Home and Away and Neighbours. His dream client is Grace Jones, who he declares is simply to die for.

Hall Ludlow    Hall Tribute