Yani and Lillibelle | State Library of New South Wales

Yani and Lillibelle

Henriette Lamotte’s exclusive champagne showings featured each season’s ‘must-have’ hats. Lamotte, or ‘Yani’ to her friends, was often accompanied by her French poodle ‘Lillibelle’ adorned in diamante collar and mink tie, no less! Proceeds from the events usually went to charity. Local celebrities and socialites were all in attendance – their photographs splashed across the society pages of the women’s magazines and newspapers the following week.

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Springtime with Yani and Lillibelle at Princes [invitation], 1956, from Henriette Lamotte scrapbooks. Printed. MLMSS 3747


This gala dinner and fashion parade was held at Princes Restaurant, one of Sydney’s most fashionable dining establishments and meeting place for society ladies and the French community. An added attraction of the evening was "The Lamotte Story" told in hats worn by well-known Sydney women.

One fashion editor later enthused about a show:

"The hat show of the season, in fact almost THE fashion show, was Henriette Lamotte’s sparkling affair given for charity. It had all the ingredients: lush background of the elegant salon, all the ‘right’ people’ in the audience – the smart ladies (wearing their best hats) - and Sydney’s four leading mannequins, with their sleek aplomb and rather disdainful assurance. And the hats. Delicious creations, big, small…We all accepted that a hat show is a lot more than hats" (‘Easter Hat parade’, Women’s Day, April 1 1957)


> View the complete Henriette Lamotte scrapbook online catalogue link