28 April 2011

(Aptly Named) Fascinators: Fabulous or Faux-Pas?

As one whose most sophisticated and elegant hair accessory is an elastic band (ouchless!) and black barrettes, I am developing an overwhelming interest in Fascinators (you might say I'm fascinated ... yuk yuk).  My thoughts exactly are:

Q: Interesting?

A: Yes.

Q: Unique?

A: Definitely.

Q: Cool?

A: Right now, maybe, because of Kate.  In general, undecided.  But "cool" is a shifting paradigm, so ....

Q: Awesome?

A: I'm wondering if maybe they're not?  I think maybe they are!

For the history buffs:


A Fascinator, sometimes known as a cocktail hat, originated in the mid-1700's and referred to a fine, lacy type of head cap or covering.  According to the good folks at
Wikipedia, the initial versions were created primarily with wool or lace and were more similar to a shawl than a hat; from what I was able to suss out on the internet, they were hardworking and task-oriented little affairs concerning themselves more with modesty than with fashion.  The initial prototype had a good run so there must have been some style to them (!), but they generally fell into disuse by the mid-1970's.

Fast forward to the early 21st century, and Fascinators made a - wait for it -
fascinating comeback (I couldn't help it).  For reasons not totally clear, ladies everywhere resumed their love affair with these petite beauties, and the glamour factor increased by a hundredfold.  Modern day Fascinators are often delicate, cunning little hair adornments, with some of the most popular materials being feathers, lace, beads and flowers.  They are worn nearly exclusively by women (need I say it? obviously), and attach to the head via a hairband, clip or comb.

Recently, they have come to be recognized within the British aristocracy as an acceptable alternative to formal hats and can be seen en masse at horse racing events and weddings and all points in between.  Not just limited to June brides any more, styles range from fabulously formal (for all those black tie events we attend) to cute and casual: whatever your mood, style and/or event, there is a Fascinator that might just perfect for it!  Recent media darling [and soon to be Princess] Kate Middleton has made a substantial fashion splash with daring little numbers like this:


and the renewed popularity of these creations show no signs of abating any time soon.

Again, though, given that my biggest accessory risk is a
tortoiseshell-colored barrette (versus my usual black) I might not be the best one to judge, but my hat goes off (and a fascinator on!) to all the ladies who own this fashion statement!  If I could work this look like a lawnmover, I totally would: wouldn't you??

via LibertyLondonGirl.com

via Wedding Bee

via Etsy.com | BeSomethingNew

via Etsy.com | English Rose Wedding Co.

via Etsy.com | Portobello

I may just have to break out of my boring conservative usual mould and try something a little new and different: maybe a cute little peacock feather head band?  Perhaps that will be my next purchase from Etsy .... stand by for details!