Ochini Millinery by Ochini
Ochini specializes in designing and creating occasion headwear. She was born in Sri Lanka and moved to the UK with her family when she was only 8 months old. She has been fortunate to travel and been exposed to many beautiful in life; both natural and man-made beauties nurtured her love for accessories. No wonder her brand, Ochini Millinery is all about tropical and majestic designs of Asia made in western techniques and styles.
How did you start your accessory brand?
I started making fabric flowers for wedding bouquets. One day at a wedding show I was exhibiting a small collection of hair accessories on the side. Surprisingly, I received more attention for those and redirected my creativity towards headwear.
Did you know, a lot of her designs are inspired by nature and incorporate a lot of floral details. But what’s interesting is that she can also be inspired by food or desserts and the colour schemes that come from them.
Why do you do what you do?
It's a form of art, I enjoy the challenge of creating something visually beautiful whilst having to be a wearable item. Mostly I enjoy playing with colour schemes and creating beautiful things that have a purpose.
What do you like about your job?
I work at my own pace and in my own time, this way I can pay more attention to the design I'm working on. You don't rush a painting. I like the fact that I am not a factory line or trying to fulfil many orders of one thing, the pieces I create are unique or a one-off design.
We will see a lot of floral work in designs, as she says floral embellishments are her signature style. She also says she is obsessed with anything floral.
Tell us more about your most popular designs.
My most popular designs have all had floral detailing, they all have been more statement pieces larger in size.
We would love to hear about your studio/making time.
My studio is home based, I design and make pieces in my spare time. I am a new mother and so it has been a new challenge for me to juggle both.
What's your proudest moment in your accessory designer career? What makes you a happy artist?
When clients tell me how much they like my designs, it keeps me motivated. My proudest moment yet has been seeing my pieces on a runway in New York.
What is your dream project? If there are no limitations, what would you like to create?
I absolutely love the work of millinery Maor Zabar and would love to make a tiny doll like scenes on hats.