How wonderful to finally hear a programme all about FASCINATORS. There I was sewing away in my studio, in fact making a hat for The Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot, when I heard Jenni Murray and her two guests on her programme, Women’s Hour, talking about exactly what fascinators are and when and where they began!
Fascinators all started with brides not wanting to wear a full veil but feathers and flowers and beads. In the 1600s brides used to wear a little cloth, like a pixie cap, a lightly knitted scarf for their bridal veil. Fascinators didn’t really happen in America until the 1860s and in the 1960s fascinators appeared in Australia but not until the 1980s in England. Quite amazing to think that now.
Jenni Murray’s guest, milliner to the Queen said, it is all about getting it right and if the fascinator is too insignificant you don’t get the effect. Wearing a fascinator as the “big event” on your special day is important to get right.
I do of course make bespoke pieces but on my on-line shop I only sell four styles – the light and wimsical such as the Belgravia style to the “big event”, the Mayfair style.
Kate Middleton has really made fascinators popular in recent weeks – we are even able to make a fascinator similar to the one she wore on her first official engagement with her fiancee, Prince William.
Even Her Majesty The Queen has worn a fascinator before – to Peter Phillips’s wedding to Autumn Kelly in 2008 – which was made of silver and bronze feathers. The Queen likes to call them wimsies – light and fanciful and wimsical!!