When I think of peacocks, I think of how they unfurl their long, lustrous tails like a giant fan, revealing a cascade of iridescent green-and-blue-and-purple feathers. And when I think of peacock tails, I think of feather fascinators.
Even if you don’t know what a fascinator is, you’ve surely seen one. A fascinator is a headpiece that doesn’t cover the head the way a hat does. Instead, it sits perched at a jaunty manner in a decorative – some might say fascinating – manner. The style first became popular in the 1920s, when bright young things affixed peacock feathers to headbands and made eye-catching cocktail hats.
When Catherine Middleton married Prince William, she and many members of her wedding party donned fascinators. Modern-day flapper Sarah Sophie Flicker has also incorporated the fascinator into her everyday style.
The fascinator trend had started to take off when I worked at a craft store a few years ago. Instead of spending top dollar at a local milliner’s or buying a mass-produced feathered headband at Claire’s or Urban Outfitters, some crafty customers bought a few peacock feathers and some felt and made their own headpieces. More recently, one of my favorite designers, Sarah Wilson, has created a felted, bow-shaped headband as part of her 1960s-inspired Mad Women pattern book.
Betty’s Bow would be the pattern I’d make if I were to work on a project for Peacock House. Instead of making it in Malabrigo, I’d probably craft it from one of Noro’s green/blue/purple-based colorways. (Those would felt, right?)