Fashion: with flowers in my hair

Whether you are channelling 1960s hippy or Renaissance maiden, flower crowns are in vogue and not just at festivals.

Photograph: Getty images

Photograph: Getty images

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 01:00

In 2011, when Jasmin Larian was 21 and a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she started making silk floral crowns in her spare time for herself and her friends to wear out on the town. Her designs were modest - white and pink roses on a simple wire frame - but they sparked immediate reactions from strangers.

“I was in the Jane Hotel one night wearing a crown,” Larian recalled. “This man walked up to me and offered to buy it off my head for $50 to give to his girlfriend. I didn’t want to sell it to him, but he persuaded me. Four months later, I moved back to Los Angeles and went to the Coachella festival, and saw a girl there wearing that same piece. She said she had bought it off someone else’s head for $100! That’s when I knew I had a business to start.”

She called her line of crowns Cult Gaia because, she said, “so many people coveted them that they felt like cult items, and Gaia is the goddess of the earth,” and started selling them in earnest via a website. Now she sources vintage silk blooms from all over the world and employs a staff of 10 at a studio in downtown Los Angeles to keep up with the demand for her handmade work.

Flower children and Renaissance maidens

Floral crowns, although they conjure visions of Renaissance maidens with hollyhocks and laurel in their hair or 1960s flower children weaving daisy chains, are having a decidedly new moment. Inspired by the bohemian, petal-adorned style of celebrities like Lana Del Rey, who is photographed more often than not with Technicolor roses atop her long locks, chic urbanites are increasingly drawn to flower headpieces as both a fashion statement and a novel way to reconnect with the natural world.

Fresh crowns have become a must-have whimsical element at fashion-world parties, with bright young florists enlisted to help guests construct their own botanic creations. “The craze really began with fashion bloggers,” said Bess Wyrick of Celadon and Celery, whose crown business took off after she crafted an avant-garde floral piece for Jeff Koons to wear for a cover of New York magazine. “They started requesting floral pieces for concerts or parties or going to the beach for the weekend. Now I am getting a lot of requests from women who just want to wear something special and unique.”

Part of the appeal of a fresh flower crown, Wyrick asserts, is that it cannot last. “There’s something so exhilarating about that,” she said, “so connected to the earth.” Celadon and Celery charges $300 to $500 for a single piece. Kelly Cobb, an owner of 2h flowers loves to wear fresh crowns and has her delivery girls don blooms in their hair, but she decided to make perennial silk crowns to give women pieces that look herbaceous but that don’t droop in the summer sun.

“We started getting a lot of requests for Coachella and other festival weekends,” Cobb said, “and I didn’t want to ship anything fresh, so I started working with silk, and people were surprised to see how beautiful the permanent crowns turned out.”

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