Wonder mare Winx may be the star of race track, but in the Fashion Stakes the undisputed winners are always the stunning array of flower crowns on parade.
From ethereal halos to whimsical crowns to sculptural floral delights, fashion fillies can take inspiration from both Hollywood and festival culture as they enjoy the Spring Racing Carnival.
Time to pop away the fascinators and hats (for now), and keep following your nose to the local florist, say those in the know.
Celebrated Annandale expert Jodie McGregor, Florist of the Year in the 2016 Fresh Awards run by the Sydney Markets, says flower crowns have been growing in popularity for the last year or so.
“I’ve been getting a lot of requests for them – it’s just something a little bit different and personalised, part of that whimsical, garden-style and a little bit boho too,” she says.
Jodie’s best advice is to err on the smaller side and go with an arrangement with staying power, or you run the risk of the blooms wilting faster than one of Winx’s gasping rivals!
“Orchids and lisianthus are great examples of flowers that will go the distance, and I also recommend combining those with lovely nuts and foliage for that nice textured look.”
Whatever combination you do settle on, Jodie also says it’s imperative that you get an expert to construct the final look to ensure the correct fit.
“There’s quite an art to it,” she warns.
Lucette Yusef, founder of online floral delivery service The Daily Bunch says she’s definitely noticed the buzz around for flower crowns this year and is often asked to create custom designs for clients.
“My top tip would be to have your flower crown professionally wired, rather than made with a glue gun, or other ways,” says Lucette.
“Taping and wiring the stems using the traditional method isn’t quick but it seals in all the moisture in the stem of each flower making it stay fresher and more vibrant for longer.”
Lucette says flowers can wilt all too quickly if you’re spending the day outdoors so the method your florist uses can mean the difference between a gorgeous flower crown long into the evening, or one which is wilting before the After Party.
If you don’t feel the full flower crown look is for you, don’t fear, says Lucette.
“Sometimes a small cluster of blooms wired onto a simple band of ivy can look just as impactful.
“The best thing about hand-made flower crowns are that each one is unique; you can create the perfect accent to your outfit and know that no-one else will be in the same headgear.”
Top celebrity stylist Terri Robertson-Kirkwood says the most important thing to remember is that the crown needs to be an oval shape not round.
“This is due to the fact your head shape is actually oval, not round as it is often mistaken for,” says Terri.
“Make sure it is also trialled before the day and to secure backcomb a section of the hair and secure with bobby pins sitting 3cm from the back of the ear. Place the crown or embellishment in first then rearrange hair around it.”
Below are a few more tips and tricks for flower crown domination courtesy of some of Australia’s best hairstylists.
You’ll feel like a winner all day long, even though you may not have backed one!
Tarryn Chernaiyeff – MOB Hair
I would say know your hair density and face shape is most important. Choosing the correct arrangement to complement you. If you have fine hair and a small face I wouldn’t choose a large overbearing arrangement, I’d go for small, understated floral arrangement, so it doesn’t overwhelm your smaller face. Best tips to keep your crown in place would be to braid your hair first then put the crown on. Loosely pin down the crown to ensure it doesn’t move. The braid will avoid that awful feeling of bobby pins sticking into your head.
Byron Turnbull – EDWARDS & CO
Find the right crown that fits your head size. But securing away with bobby pins is my biggest secret weapon.
Darren Summors – Aveda Australia
My top tips would be keep it in proportion to your hair / face shape. Bigger is not always better when wearing a flower crown, it can easily look heavy and take away from everything else. Smaller more delicate crowns are the way forward for the races. Bobby pins are your flower crowns’ partner in crime to hold it in place all day. Try teasing a few sections of hair – this will help the bobby pins grip in place. Dry shampoo also works a treat for this. And try a side crown or partial crown.