While British royals are known for their fascinating hats, you don’t have to be a Brit to love wearing a fascinator.

Are you offering these fashionista faves to your trend-savvy clientele?

Floral Fascinators are small fashionable hats made of flowers and decorative materials like feathers, fabrics, or beads. They’re fastened to the hair by a clip, comb, or headband.

These stylish pieces of wearable art are a must-have for trendsetters hoping to steal the limelight at a fun or formal event and for brides choosing a perfect wedding ensemble.

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

Bespoke is a British term meaning specially made for a particular person. Bespoke bouquets are more eye-catching when paired with a hand-tailored fascinator to match.

Canadian designer Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD recently shared with us three of her favorite bouquets – cascade, composite and contemporary in our blog Bridal Bouquets, The Magic is in the Mechanics.

In this article, Lea offers tips for creating three headpieces to match those featured bouquets.

1. Modern fascinator

Times and traditions change, but the consumer’s desire to wear something fascinating for special events never goes away!

“Most young people want to be unique. It’s quite easy to get the younger generation to wear these one-of-a-kind designs,” says Lea.

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

For an elegant look, an accessorizing fascinator should match both the outfit and the bouquet.

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

To replicate the lines of her cascading bouquet, Lea used the same basic materials.

Hardgoods:

Quick tips:

  • Hot glue the hair clip to the Aspidistra leaf.
  • Use UGLU dashes to secure the Mega wire into place.
  • Spray the lamination film with the faux Ice Crystal spray.
  • Secure film at the top with UGLU. Gives illusion of size and mimics the bouquet.
  • Use floral adhesive to secure flowers into the design.

Fresh Flowers:

  • Calla
  • Button Chrysanthemums
  • Phalaenopsis Orchids
  • Umbrella fern – Sticherus flabellatus
  • Variegated Aspidistra leaf

Where does the name fascinator come from?

Some say the Latin word “fascinatus” meaning “to bewitch”. Others suggest the name refers to the fact that the small headpiece is “fastened” to the hair to remain in place. Some styles such as a pillbox can also be referred to as a half-hat.

2. Pillbox hat

The elegant simplicity of a pillbox hat came into vogue in the 1930’s. Traditionally made from fabrics or fur, this style of hat remained fashionable through the 50’s.

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

Composites such as Glamellias were also popular in the 50’s. This pillbox hat blends beautifully with the Glamellia-style look of Lea’s composite bouquet.

 

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

 

Hardgoods:

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

Quick tips:

  • Always fold the floral mesh into two or three layers for extra strength.
  • Place the smoother side of the floral mesh toward the head.
  • Attach raw sides with glue strips and staple the edges to the ribbon.
  • Cut notches in the mesh to make the material bend into a circle.
  • Recycle the discarded end of a ribbon spool for the top of the hat.
  • For comfort, use faux aspidistra on the inside of the form. Fresh on the outside.
  • Add a layer of floral mesh outside the form for weaving in fresh materials, like lily grass.
  • Attach pipe cleaners bent into a circle to form hooks for pinning into hair.

Photo: Remember When Photography

Fresh Flowers:

  • Cymbidium orchids
  • Israeli ruscus
  • Green Trick Dianthus
  • Variegated aspidistra, fresh and faux
  • Lily grass (Liriope Muscari)

3. Contemporary fascinator

A fascinator can be worn on either side of the head. Typically, it sits a little on the back of the head with the details of the fascinator positioned directly above the eyebrows.

Wearing a fascinator forward on the head is intended to be a very bold look.

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

 

This contemporary bouquet is layered atop a Mega wire base. The wire base is formed to fit the wearer’s head.

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

Hardgoods:

  • Floral adhesive
  • UGLU strips
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Mega Wire, copper
  • Aluminum wire, copper
  • Permanent botanical leaves

Photo: Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD

Quick tips:

  • Form the cap of the design from Mega wire.
  • Secure the form by wiring at connecting points with Aluminum wire.
  • Underneath the wire form, hot glue faux leaves to shape the base of the hat.
  • Use floral adhesive or UGLU dashes to additionally secure the leaves.
  • Remove carnation petals from the flower calyx for a unique green form.
  • Layer the fresh materials into the design in your desired pattern.
  • Use miniature hair clips to clip the finished fascinator securely into hair.

Photo: Remember When Photography

Fresh Flowers:

  • Carnation calyx
  • Pomponi Gerbera Daisies
  • Israeli ruscus – sprayed rose gold
  • Green trick dianthus
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily grass (Liriope Muscari)

Who started the fascinator tradition?

In the 17th century, fascinators first entered European fashion as a form of lacy scarf fastened to the hair, creating a mysterious look. In the early 20th century ladies were expected to cover their hair in public and a hat did so stylishly.

It’s still a tradition for the royal family to wear fascinators or hats when attending formal events.

Both hats and fascinators and are increasingly popular with North American fashionistas as well. Ladies often attend horse-racing events like the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky and Century Downs in Calgary, Alberta wearing bespoke hats and fascinators.

Lea’s floral studio Designing on the Edge is located in Calgary. “There will always be a segment of clientele that are willing to pay for unique designs,” she says.

“Everybody’s wearing fascinators to weddings,” Lea continues. She is often called upon to make the personalized designs. She upsells her bouquets by offering brides coordinating designs for the hair.

How do you reach those potential customers?

“Word of mouth,” Lea suggests.

Social media is the new ‘word of mouth’ making social a great place to start. Create wearable designs and post the photos online to establish that you have the skill to design them.

“Self-promotion – wearing the designs myself to public events inspires interest from potential customers,” she adds.

Are you offering floral fascinators to your clientele? If not, now’s the time to give the on-trend designs a try!

Promote the fashion trend in your area:

  • Experiment with new styles. Photograph and display the images for customers to see.
  • Use these trials to determine your price range and give your clients visual inspiration.
  • Post the images online and hold a contest to see who can share your images most.
  • Give several winners free fascinators to wear to the next wedding they attend as a guest.
  • Do the same for school dances and proms.

Training young girls to enjoy wearing flowers early is a good way to increase your ‘personal flowers’ sales!

Of Lea’s three styles shown above – modern fascinator, pillbox hat, and contemporary fascinator, which is your personal favorite?