Finalist 2022

Counter Balance

Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

The piece Balancing Act is created by award-winning milliner Lauren J Ritchie that responded to the theme Counter Balance.

The piece is in response to the theme Counter Balance. I wanted to create a physical representation of Counter Balance through shapes. The pieces constructed of straw materials were created using a series of blocking and pattern cutting techniques. The shapes were there strategically placed in an off-kilter tower delicately balancing and relying on each other for support. The strong direction and angle of one shape force the next shape to compensate in the opposite direction.

Design Brief:

The piece responds to the prompt Counter Balance which was the theme for the 2022 Millinery Australia Design Award. The piece was to demonstrate innovative design, quality workmanship, wearability and relevance to the theme.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The theme counterbalance was explore through traditional definitions and meanings of the term through image research. A collection of inspiration was collected and series of concept sketches developed. The piece was constructed by couture milliner with a range of pattern cutting and traditional millinery techniques. The design brief was deemed extremely successful as it was awarded second place in the 2022 Millinery Australia Design Award.

Design Excellence

The piece features strong geometric design lines through the three-dimensional shapes that form the design. The colours selected are a balanced combination warm tones. The piece is functional to wear while providing an aesthetically balanced piece. Constructed to an outstanding level of quality this piece demonstrates the highest level of skill within the industry.

Design Innovation

The techniques used to construct the piece pushes the bounds of techniques seen within the industry to create a gravity-defying work.

Design Impact

The piece shows a modern approach to the millinery industry. While this piece itself is not a commercial approach it demonstrates an innovative approach to construction. The piece contributes to building the reputation of the millinery industry through the quality workmanship it demonstrates.

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