Getting Hitched the Royal Way

The Royal Wedding has sent the  wedding industry into a British trendsetting flurry which is leaving women around the globe clamoring for one of Britain’s most fashionable wedding accessories: The Fascinator.

You may be curious yet nervous about Fascinators so I sat down with one of my favorite British imports Las Vegas Designer Claire Jane Vranian, creator and designer behind Inspired by Claire Jane, to get to the root of the Fascinator trend:

Q: What is a Fascinator?

CJ: A fascinator is a headpiece.  The word fascinator originally referred to a fine lacy head covering made from wool or lace but mostly feathers.  Today a Fascinator may be worn instead of a hat on occations where hats are traditionally worn- such as weddings- or as an evening accessory. Ranging in size but always bigger than a Barrett most modern fascinators are made with feathers, flowers or beads. They are particularly popular at hose racing events such as the Kentucky derby and many brides choose to wear them as an alternative to a veil.

Q: Why do the British wear them?

CJ: For us Brits the tradition dates back to the time when the Anglican Church required ladies to keep their heads covered in Church, much like other religions still do to today. Hats and Fascinators have been a very important British fashion statement since the time of Henry VIII.  The media coverage of the Royal wedding brought this British tradition front and center to audiences around the world who have embraced it.

Q: How does one properly wear a Fascinator?  Where should it be placed on the head?

CJ: I think they look amazing with a big updo and smaller ones with the hair down, or hair pulled back right off the face to show the fashion piece, these are a fashion statements so if you’re going to wear one make it count!  I always like to show them leaning towards the front and to the right side of the head.

Q: What is the best way to secure them to ensure they stay in place?

CJ: For your big wedding day have your hair stylist place it in and have it reinforced with extra clips, especially if you’re having an updo they can work it into it. Otherwise pick a style that works with your hair. I create my fascinators either with a Headband or Clip, or both so they can be interchanged to suit the individual.

Q: What is the proper Fascinator ediquette?  Do you take them off indoors, take them off in church or leave them on the entire evening?

CJ: I think it’s up to the individual at their event. At the Royal Wedding they all stayed on in the Church and at Reception!

Q: What is a good rule of thumb when selecting a Fascinator?  How you get the the WOW factor rather than the WTF factor? Size, style, etc.

CJ: Buy one from ME!!  Hair fascinators need to be worn with confidence and pick one that is suited with your outfit and your headsize and hair type.  If you’re not sure but want to wear one, start off with a small to medium fascinator with your favorite colors.  I love to create custom orders so if you want something special for a wedding, cocktail party etc please email me at [email protected]  with a photograph of your outfit.

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  1. Oh Christie you have outdone yourself!! I love this post!! I would wear a customized piece to the butterfly release I attend every year in honor of my son who passed away! I already have my dress picked out, now I need to accessorize and these are beautiful! xoxo

  2. Hello:

    Love Claire Jane and all of her wearable art!
    I have always loved how the British wear hats on all sorts of occasions!
    It is so very ladylike, fashionable and such a finishing accessory, if you will.
    as a housewife in the south, i really never find myself with the opportunity to go anywhere “fancy” as to where i would “need” a fascninator, and which is the sole reason i do not have one of her handbags. we go to church and Claire Jane has sent me and my daughter some flowers and small pieces which we do wear.
    My husband and I were invited to a very formal evening wedding, Saturday April 21st !
    I am so excited i want to get my HAIR done up!
    a fascinator would be the perfect touch!
    Love you my dahling!!!

  3. Love your blog! It’s beautiful and informative! I also love these fascinators. Honestly, I would wear these any opportunity I had! If it made sense and went with my outfit and where I was going. I love stuff like this. Like a ladies lunch, tea or an outdoor wedding would be my first thoughts. But, seriously, do you think you can rock something like this with a pair of jeans, a blazer, kick-ass heels and some layered pearl necklaces??

  4. Hello!
    I would wear one of Claire Jane’s fabulous fascinators to the races, The Grand National at Aintree to be precise!! Hopefully it would bring me luck & I’d pick the winner, whereupon I would blag my way into the VIP enclosure (as I’d surely look glam enough in a my gorgeous fascinator!!) to celebrate with a nice glass of fizz!!

  5. You always find the most amazing things to write about! If I ever decide to do a real wedding ceremony, I would totally rock a facinator!

  6. I absolutely love Claire Jane!!!! She is as adorable as the day is long! I have a few pieces of hers that I’ve worn to weddings, birthday parties, tweetups! I’d love to wear a new one for my wedding anniversary this summer. Hoping to do a vow renewal, so I’d need a new fascinator!

  7. Claire Jane, is fantastic, with such imagination, she’s individual, I love butterfly’s, they are my passion, I’d love to wear one of her fascinating, facinators, as it inhances any outfit, any time of day, wether it be a wedding ,christening, party wear… Beautiful…….just beautiful..

  8. My brothers wedding is in England this summer, and my mother and I are already planning to wear Fascinators! These pieces are incredible and stylish; it would be fun to show them off as an American among Brits! Thanks Christie!

  9. I have a wedding to attend in Los Angeles in May and one of these stunning fascinators would be the perfect statement piece/accessory for my outfit. This is wearable art and would no doubt enhance and improve my entire outfit.

  10. i love claire and her creations! it would be such an honor to own one 🙂
    id wear it with almost all my outfits! 🙂 especailly wearing fancy dress. would take loads of photos with it and love it forever <3

  11. I would love to wear one of your fascinators to my own wedding (but with the event being over a year away, I would also look for excuses to wear it in the meantime)! Absolutely beautiful, so elegant.

  12. Remember when everybody wore hats and always looked so put-together and sophisticated (even for a trip to the supermarket)? I think of fascinators that way… an elegant punch to anything. Even my non-sophisticated jeans. I think I’d wear one any time I wanted to pull my hair back. I need a little elegance with attitude.

  13. I would wear it in the bathroom wear I’d look at myself in the mirror and say, “what a pretty boy am I?” And then I’d take it off and it’d be a gift for my gal ’cause no matter how fascinating I look in it I just don’t think it’d be right for me to keep it. Oh, Shorty sent me, yep.

  14. Hi there! If I won this fascinator, I would give it as a present to one of my best friends from childhood, who is getting married this year. 🙂 Good luck, everyone!

  15. I would love to have one of your fascinators to wear to the Junior League of Las Vegas May Luncheon. I normally just blend in with everyone else, I think I would like to stand out this year by wearing something over the top. I have seen your handbags and love them. I do have a couple of teas to attend this year, I could also wear it to them.

  16. Rachel S. sent me from Kaboodle…..would wear it for a photo shoot and then give it to a younger friend who would wear it more in Seattle,WA…..Beautiful work!….heard you have purses you make…send me a link please and thank you!…..cheers,gayle

  17. To the May 5, 2012 Kentucky Derby. One’s headpiece is important on Derby day and a one of a kind Claire Jane Hair Fascinator would be the amazing finishing touch to rock Derby day’s attire.

  18. I think you may fascinators on any occasion and there are so lovely I won’t own one but I do admire them.
    Will this allow me to enter your giveaway and than you so much.
    your friend,

  19. Ahh! I’ve wanted a fascinator since the Royal Wedding last year 🙂 I would definitely wear one for my engagement pictures that I”ll be taking this summer!

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