It used to be a French thing. Completely French, then the British - well, let’s say – copied it, but now it is a global thing and Africans, Ghanaians included, cannot let go of the accessory that speaks volumes on its own.
What am I going on about?
Between 1485 and 1603, also known as the Tudor period, fashion dictated that English and Welsh women adorn their heads with veils, coifs, pillbox hats, and curls. With many of these headpieces being highly elaborate and costly, Tudor hats became status symbols decorated by pearls, lace, feathers, glass jewels, and gold thread.
In the 1500s the word "milliner" became popular, a term for a maker of women’s hats — fascinators included. Much like atelier workers, milliners craft by hand, meaning each hat doubles as an original work of art. Milliners "block" their own shapes and "roll" their own flowers.
The more intricate, extravagant, and bespoke the fascinator, the more costly it is, which is why these accessories have long featured hefty price tags.
British women paired the popular “Dutch” hairstyle with a topknot, also known as a pompom — made up of ribbons, small feathers, butterflies, jewels and secured to the front or off to the side of the head.
During the late 1700s, Marie Antoinette and other French ladies of influence had a strong desire for beauty, prestige and attention, igniting battles in creativity and flamboyance. British ladies took to this too.
Hair-covered cushions stuffed with wool or horsehair, resembled tall egg-shaped towers and acted as foundations for fastened adornment. Flowers, lace, jewelled pins, fruit, garden scenes — anything and everything was considered fair game.
So what does the 21st century fascinator look like?
Chic, classy, elegant, sophisticated, call it whatever, but it is common knowledge that fascinators are becoming the ‘it’, not only in Britain or France, but also in Ghana.
While the term itself has taken many forms, one thing is certain, these hats have experienced a boom in popularity.
Fascinators may serve minimal or no functional purpose, but they do have a few redeeming qualities.
They can elongate your silhouette by adding the illusion of length. Being perched on the side or front of your head, they can also preserve a gorgeous blowout, but if you have one custom made for you, fascinators can serve as an expression of your personality and fashion sense.
And if there is anyone who makes fascinators dazzle, Velma Accessories does and guarantees its patrons a top of the world sensation.
With many bespoke pieces to satisfy her numerous customers, all you need to do is request, and your desire will be fulfilled beyond satisfaction.
Velma said women are becoming more and more accustomed to the accessory. This was not the situation some years ago. But increasingly women are becoming aware of the sometimes, simple but exquisite head piece.
She said most of her clients wear their fascinators to weddings, naming ceremonies, church and other special occasions.
With a wide variety of materials to choose from, Velma makes her fascinators with feathers, leather, laces and even pearls. Yes, pearls.
Depending on the style or material being used, a fascinator could take between minutes, hours or an entire day to make and Velma makes about 20 or more of them every week.
Velma makes a visual assessment of her clients carefully before making the accessory for them. Their height, their fashion sense and the outline or shape of their faces will determine the appropriate fascinator to employ.
So for someone who is tall, she makes something that compliments their height instead of something that makes them even taller and vice versa for women who are shorter.
Velma recommends that fascinators are kept in boxes after use. Alternatively, you can also wrap them in a bag and keep them in a place where they don’t come into contact with other things that will damage them.
But in case your fascinator is damaged, you can always take them to Velma and she will mend it.
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