Butterfly on a Pin: A Memoir of Love, Despair and Reinvention
One of five children from a poverty-stricken home in rural Tasmania, Alannah Hill grew up with fear and chaos her constant companions. She left home at age fifteen, her mother's critical voice embedded in her brain, and began to reinvent herself amid the bright lights of Melbourne. Melbourne was a place where anything and everything felt possible, where a freckle-faced nobody from Tasmania could dream of becoming a fashion designer. Alannah fell in love, and then couldn't fall out of love; she teased her hair to cover her fear, and travelled to Tokyo, Paris, New York and London as her career started to take off. She toured with U2 and BB King, acted in the cult movie Dogs in Space, and built a fashion empire with her iconic brand, Alannah Hill. At the height of her success she also became a mother, living an incredible dream. But it slowly began to unravel, stitch by carefully crafted stitch. With a cancer scare, an acrimonious split with her business partner and the crushing end of her fashion label, Alannah found herself down a dimly lit path, asking all the wrong questions. What right did she have to be successful? To be a mother? To be happy? After the death of her mother, Alannah knew it was time to call a truce with the past. Serious reinvention was required once again, and she armoured herself to revisit a past she'd buried decades earlier. One of Australia's most successful fashion designers, Alannah Hill bares her soul in this brilliant memoir. Hilarious and heartbreaking, Butterfly on a Pin is not only the story of her (potholed) road to success, but a fiercely intelligent and funny tale of overcoming adversity and daring to dream. With insight and brutal honesty, Alannah reminds us that what doesn't kill us doesn't necessarily make us stronger.
Alannah Hill was born on an apple orchard in Geeveston, Tasmania and moved to Melbourne when she was a teenager. Her iconic, ornamental style has made her one of Australia's most well-known fashion designers. After a split with her financial partner Factory X in 2012, Alannah walked away from her eponymous brand. Alannah now designs clothes with her new brand Louise Love, and is an ambassador for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation of Australia.