Fascinators: the past & the present

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We all remember the event that defined the year 2011; it was the spectacle of the decade as the entire world witnessed the Royal Wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William. Now, the current Duchess of Cambridge and then bride-to-be was by and large the center of attention at her wedding, (obvi) but style sensei’s everywhere were also taking notice of a quintessential British accessory adorning the heads of ladies in attendance.

You may have even asked yourself, “is there a word for those adorable hats?”  Yes.Yes there is. It’s called a fascinator, and it is the accessory that started it all here at Pippa & Pearl.

Like any enduring fashion statement, the fascinator has had a rich history, evolving through the decades to become the popular aesthetic as we know it today. As early as the Victorian era, the word fascinator was used to describe a certain strand of millinery. Through several more decades and various incarnations, the fascinator came to describe a spectrum of ladies’ headwear.

Perhaps the most iconic early adopter of the fascinator hat was Marie Antoinette. Noble ladies of the French court were known for their outrageous, extravagant coifs, which were decorated ornately. Marie Antoinette herself was fond of fascinator hats, which, like the powdered bouffants of the time, were complicated, ornate pieces:

In the ‘90’s we saw fascinators re-emerge in the style that we know today. Delicate, extravagant, and always a bold statement, fascinators are more popular than ever. We usually see these ornamental pieces as a formal accessory for horse races, weddings, and garden parties, as fascinators have always added a frivolous yet elegant touch to any outfit.

Believe it or not, there is a set of etiquette rules for wearing fascinators, historically. For instance, tradition dictates that a woman should wear her fascinator on the right side of the head at formal gatherings and social functions. There may have been legitimate reasons for these guidelines in the days of yesteryear, but why not challenge the traditional way of doing things?!

Pippa & Pearl believe rules were meant to be broken, at least when it comes to style. We say, “the bolder the better,” which is why we don’t relegate this iconic accessory to traditional norms! Why not rock that feathery fascinator to lunch with the girls? Why not wear what you love?! Life is too short to dress for anyone but yourself!

Check out our ahmaaazing selection of fascinators and start stunning with this unexpected style! ;)


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