Over 70 Years of Regalia Crafting & Expert Tailoring
A third-generation family business. Established Melbourne 1947. Image: Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
Our History (To Cut a Long Story Short)
Our company was originally established as ‘Coronet Regalia’ in 1947 by the late George H. Lilley.
Our first premises was at the Presgrave Building on Little Collins Street. As the business grew, George moved premises to Collins Street and then eventually to Berry Street in East Melbourne.
The business then was primarily in the area of making masonic regalia.
In 1947, even David Jones had a regalia department!
George’s son, Peter Lilley took over the business in 1976 with his wife, Pauline.
Over the years, Peter and Pauline have diversified the business to include other types of regalia you may see on our website.
Image: Swanston Street, Melbourne 1947
Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
Three Generations of Family Business
We are makers, tailors, machinists, designers, and craftspeople. We make and work with garments, special textiles and metal insignia.
We are a third-generation family business. Our team of 11 includes Peter & Pauline Lilley & their daughter Christine. Both Pauline and Peter are co-owners and directors of the company.
Combined, Peter and Pauline have over 80 years of design & manufacturing experience.
Christine has degrees in both history & design. She has 15 years design & manufacturing experience.
Our staff are like our family, many being with us for well over 10 years. Dogs Benny and Wilbur provide excellent customer service as our welcoming committee!
Our main office and factory is based in Thornbury, Melbourne.
Image: Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
What Do We Care For, What Motivates Us?
We’re very proud to be making garments here in Melbourne.
We are very supportive and enthusiastic for other small businesses & the grassroots local manufacturing community. Our staff, our family (one & the same!) & the possibility/ability to create jobs. Happy staff & a positive work environment. Happy customers. Our relationships with customers & suppliers, both local & international. Quality regalia that may be worn with pride and dignity. We want wear-ability; we want durability, we want quality fabric & garment construction techniques. The discerning buyer. A healthy, positive ethos. Our history.
So, What is Regalia?
Typically, you wear it, although it may also be presented to the recipient as a type of award or token.
Regalia is often ceremonial. It signifies achievement, position or rank. It’s symbolic. It’s historical. It’s traditional.
The etymology of the word ‘regalia’ reveals that in the 16th and 17th centuries, it referred to the insignia or marks & decorations of an order. The original Latin term was used to denote ‘royal things’ & is derived from ‘regal’ or ‘rex’ meaning King.
Image: Portsea Officer Cadet School Graduation ca. 1952
Argus Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
What place does regalia have in 21st century Australia?
Few of us are aware that regalia is in fact around us much of the time.
Take, for example, the uniform accoutrements that our police and emergency services personnel wear, the medals and awards presented to our sporting & community heroes, the ceremonial robe & chain worn by a mayor at a citizenship ceremony, the gown worn by many teachers at school assemblies, badges on school uniforms, the mortar board & robe worn by happy graduates…
Image: Ben Williams Photography