Mela’s training in millinery started with an apprenticeship during graduate studies at the University of California at Irvine with Los Angeles milliner Lloyd Lambert and continued as she passed on her skills teaching millinery workshops and classes across the United States.

While working as an union costume designer, Mela’s love of Victorian clothing led her to research historical millinery techniques, pouring over rare manuscripts and vintage teaching manuals. At every opportunity, Mela used these techniques to create period reproductions for theatre, film, theme parks, cruise lines and re-enactors.

This, in turn, led to her study bespoke millinery in London, England with Rose Cory, milliner to the late Queen Mum along with assisting London theatrical milliner, Jane Smith.


Millinery courses include:

Beginning Hat Blocking – Fur Felt

Intermediate Hat Blocking-Fur Felt

Cut & Sew Cloche

1890’s-1900’s Straw Boater

Masterclasses with visiting Milliners: Jaycow, Jane Smith

Atelier Mela, 109 East Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton CA 92832, USA