Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wedding Trend: Fascinators

More interesting than the actual royal wedding itself, were the hats i.e. fascinators that all the ladies were wearing.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I spotted a young lady wearing a fascinator at our first wedding this year.  I wonder what we'll see at upcoming weddings this year and next?

Fascinators have been around since the 17th century when the use of wigs was quite common. For women, the addition of feathers and other small trinkets, were usually found adorning their wigs around this time. In the mid to late 1700's, wigs were not in use as much as before, and instead were being replaced by bonnets and mobcaps. Feathers, jewels and and cameo's were used to adorn the bonnets. Hair pieces were used as a flirtatious gesture considering the strict code between men and women that were not yet married. The Victorian era saw an abundance of fascinators and the trend stayed well into the 1960s before it trickled off for a while, just recently making a comeback. The British royal family has a role in the way the public has been viewing fascinators as of late. Fascinators are a lovely addition for a special occasion, and are quite frequently seen at weddings. As for "hats" in general, it's hard to say the moment they began to exist, but history shows that with the fascinators came the great obsession with hats. The 1700's saw the majority of this growth in popularity and it was in this era that the term "milliner" became exceedingly known due to the overwhelming increase of women's fashions and that included hats. Until that point, men had dominated the majority of head fashions, stemming from the beginning of the term "milliner" in the 1500's. 

Bridal head coverings originally symbolized wealth and posterity in a community. Before hats and fascinator's though, the wedding vail has been used for quite some time. Originally, a veil would be used to conceal a person's face so that her arranged marriage could withstand the ceremony without the groom knowing what she looked like. Then, they became used to symbolize purity.

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