I’m hoping that in the fashion world, 2010 is the Year of Fascinators.
In case you don’t know what they are, don’t worry. I think most people don’t. I ordered a fascinator from Australia and had to go to the post office to sign for it. I told the nice postal clerk woman that the package contained a fascinator. She said she didn’t know what that was, so I described it to her. She replied, “I knew there was a reason I came to work today.”
Fascinators are a hat/headpiece. They have been described as:
– small fancy hat;
– extravagant hair accessory;
– slightly to frivolous head decoration;
– elaborate hair ornament.
For you history buffs, fascinators were invented in England in the 1700s as an alternative to a hat worn by upper-class ladies. Today royals and regulars to sporting events and weddings wear them there. They are a mini-hat made usually from feathers, artificial flowers, ribbons/bows, and netting—all of which are attached to a comb, clip, or headband.
I ‘ve seen fascinators start to creep into America—one head at a time. The first time I saw one on an American celebrity was Sarah Jessica Parker at the London premiere for Sex & the City. Although I wouldn’t wear this one around town, I thought SKJP looked great in it.
The second time I saw one was on Carrie Underwood in March 2009. She wore a really cool one during her duet with Randy Travis on American Idol. Being the AI fantard that I am, I remember reading blog site comments about this performance and people asking, “What was that ugly spider-thing on Carrie’s head.” I thought Carrie looked fabulous.
Recently I saw Eva Mendes wear a fascinator to an event. I have also seen them listed in magazines (like Life & Style) as a “hair accessory.” You can purchase very inexpensive fascinator variations online at Forever 21. There are all kinds of embellished headbands, clips, and combs. They aren’t called fascinators, but that’s definitely their origin.
The British royals wear fascinators all the time, especially Princess Beatrice, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s daughter. She wears the Phillip Treacy label—a famous London milliner. He calls them “sculptures.” They are quite pricey. The more far out, the more they cost! (SJP’s is wearing a Philip Treacy.)
I’d like for fascinators to catch on—because I own a bunch and want to wear them without causing a spectacle. Believe me, if I were a famous writer, I would be wearing them everywhere (including the grocery store when I buy my one bottle of apricot ale and say to the checker lady, “Hi, remember me?” But that’s another blog….).
Right now, since I don’t go anywhere fancy enough (Author book readings? California Pizza Kitchen? Pick up the drycleaning? Don’t think so.) to stick one on my head. And since I’m not a Lady Ga Ga type trendsetter, I’ll wait for more sightings.
So c’mon ladies, spruce up those hair-do’s with a lovely fascinator! I’d like to recommend an EBay store where I have purchased several fascinators. It’s called Baskers Designs. The fascinators are hand-made by Anne Baskers. They are gorgeous, creative, feminine, and affordable! In addition, Anne provides excellent customer service and fast shipping. What more could you want?
Here’s an update on Kate Middleton’s hats and fascinators and a gallery of fascinators from my personal collection: