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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    Tropical North Queensland milliner and dressmaker win Melbourne Cup fashion stakes


    Two sisters from Mareeba have added another feather to their cap, so to speak, after their client Jordan Beard won the Myer Fashions on the Field competition at the Melbourne Cup.

    It’s not the first time milliner Liana Hastie of Sonlia Fashion has received such recognition, however this time, two of her creations were in the running for podium placings.



    “My two clients got into the top 10.

    “That’s never happened,” she told Tropic Now.

    “To win was amazing.”

    The frock worn by Ms Beard, a Qantas flight attendant from Cairns who’s now based in Melbourne, was designed by Ms Hastie’s sister Sonya Alba-Miller.

    Ms Alba-Miller no longer designs commercially, instead focusing on disability care and endurance running.

    However, she is a long-time friend of Ms Beard, so made an exception.

    “We’re such close friends with Jordie so she still sews for her,” said Ms Hastie.

    “She designed amazing sleeves on that dress.

    “It was a challenge to keep the hat simple so the outfit wouldn’t be too over-the-top.”

    Jordan Beard will wear the same outfit to compete for the Victorian title during Oaks Day tomorrow.

    If she wins, she’ll have a place in the national finals.

    Just two years ago, Sonlia’s client Gracyn Masterson placed runner-up in the national titles.

    Ms Hastie told Tropic Now the recognition results in more online sales.

    “Of course it helps with people noticing who we are and where we live,” she said.

    And, she has no plans to leave Mareeba to be closer to the fashion action.

    “I just love being in a country town.

    “With an online business you can be where you want to live.”