We could all make and wear a fascinator as they wore for the Royal Wedding. Just add ribbons, lace, flowers and whatever you have around to decorate a hair band. They seem pretty simple in construction but you could go all out and make them fancy and complicated.
National Post: The Rich History and Modern Rediscovery of the Fascinator
Fascinator is a recent designation but its ornamental essence is deeply rooted in 18th-century dress. British women paired the popular “Dutch” hairstyle with a topknot, also known as a pompom — made up of ribbons, small feathers, butterflies and jewels and secured to the front or off to the side of the head. During the late 1700s, Marie Antoinette and other French ladies of influence had a strong desire for beauty, prestige and attention, igniting battles in creativity and flamboyancy. Hair-covered cushions stuffed with wool or horsehair, resembled tall egg-shaped towers and acted as foundations for fastened adornment. Flowers, lace, jewelled pins, fruit, garden scenes — anything and everything was considered fair game. (Clipped-on battleships and cannons to celebrate war victories? Why not?)
Revolutions and recessions slowed down the practice of extreme headdress, but moderate decorative pieces have always been present, with a shift towards varying types of formal hats in the early 20th century from large-brimmed Merry Widows to the sophisticated pillbox, before today’s headgear bursting with clipped-on confidence took top spot on the hat rack.
Feathers have always been a chief decorative material in millinery. Ivan Sayers, fashion historian from Vancouver’s Original Costume Museum Society shares that, “historically feathers were not only pretty, but were used to showcase allegiance to political parties and devotion to the royal family.” Chances are ladies won’t be using feathers to parade their pick for prime minister over the next few weeks, but this tradition is still exercised. Recently, Kate Middleton debuted a pheasant-plume-topped fascinator designed by Vivien Sheriff Millinery — atop sat a badge representing the Royal Welch Fusiliers, a regiment within the Prince of Wales Division of the British Armed Forces.
How to Wear your Fascinator from an article in The Globe and Mail.
Fascinators should be worn on the side of your head, toward the front and on an angle. “Never in the centre,” says Karyn Gingras, owner and designer at Lilliput Hats in Toronto’s Little Italy. Ms. Gingras, whose handiwork will adorn heads in Westminster Abbey this Friday, says fascinators should generally perch slightly above the brow, though when netting is involved, it’s okay to let it drape seductively over one eye.
Fancy a Fascinator