Trooping the colour ceremony and silk flowers

As you have probably heard, last Saturday Britain celebrated the Queen’s official birthday with Trooping the Colour, a fabulous military parade.

Although the Queen was born on 21 April, it has long been the tradition to celebrate the Sovereign’s birthday publicly on a day in the summer, when good weather is more likely. This military ceremony dates back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or ‘trooped’) down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.
Trooping the Colour is carried out by fully trained and operational troops, watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public. 
Naturally I was drawn to the celebration in order to observe what headwear members of the Royal family have chosen for the event.
A lot of attention has been drawn to the Duchess of Cambridge especially that it was her last  public appearance before the birth of her first child. In this nice picture we can see her pale pink Alexander McQueen coat and matching hat in more detail. 
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall wore the Philip Treacy designed picture hat in a sparkly oyster coloured straw with a large upturned brim.
But most of all I was pleased when I saw the Duchess of Kent’s hat. She wore a white pillbox hat trimmed with purple roses and a white tulle veil.
Interestingly the day before I painted one of my roses in a very similar colour.
For me silk flowers and hats is a marriage made in heaven and it is a pity we did not see many silk flowers on Royal hats at the parade. 
Here is one of my pillbox hats decorated with an open English rose:
Silk rose pillbox
Silk flower fascinators look equally stunning. Sometimes it takes just a flower to make a fascinator, like in this black rose fascinator
Black rose fascinator
or the oversized camellia headband
Oversized blush pink camellia hat
Do you use silk flowers to decorate your hats? If not, with what do you decorate them? Please share your opinions.

Mademoiselle and camellias

fabric camellia tutorial
New tutorial on a FABRIC CAMELLIA BROOCH is out now. For more information please visit the tutorial page
I am currently enjoying reading Chanel,  a book by Danielle Bott devoted to this famous fashion house, its founder, Mademoiselle Chanel and those revolutionary changes she brought into the world of fashion. The book covers five central themes  – the signature suit, the camellia, jewellery, fragrances and make-up.
As you may have guessed I was naturally drawn to the chapter which talks about the camellia, the favourite flower of Coco Chanel. Very much inspired by masculine clothes, she borrowed the flower from a new generation of dandies, who casually pinned a camellia on their jackets. She was enchanted by its perfect, almost geometric roundness. Besides, the camellia possessed the added advantage of not competing with her favourite perfume, as camellias are scentless.
Coco Chanel believed that beauty is nearly always born from radical simplicity. The camellia with its minimalist lines, well-defined curves and almost Art Nouveau  design was destined to appeal to her. The camellia became Coco’s symbol, her icon, one of the recurring elements of her style, using it as an accessory in its natural form as well as interpreting it in unexpected ways in her designs.
An essential element in Mademoiselle’s collections, the camellia is now reworked and reinterpreted by Karl Lagerfeld. The camellia stars in every catwalk show, always present, always surprising. Lagerfeld remodels the camellia in every imaginable way for every season in all sizes and fabrics in every one of his collections. In couture, accessories and fine jewellery, in every material – satin, velvet, leather, canvas, tulle, chiffon and tweed – the camellia is a spirit of fashion. Suffice it to say that every year more than twenty thousand camellias are handcrafted in Lemarie’s flower and feather atellier, one of rue Cambon’s satellite ateliers.
Camellia was one of the first flowers I created in silk. Since then I have experimented with other fabrics  (denim), genuine leather  as well as patterns, sizes, types of accessories and ways of shaping its petals.

leather camellia brooch
Genuine leather camellias
Its almost perfect form is best shown when dense material like genuine leather or denim are used.
denim camellia brooches
Distressed camellia hair clip
However, silk satin with its noble sheen and smooth surface remains a good choice. How about an oversized camellia made into a bridal fascinator?
silk camellia
Oversized camellia fascinator in powder colour
For the above shown camellias I used a pattern which is very similar to the one of Chanel – geometrically round and very regular in shape. The other pattern I use is closer to the camellia flower in its natural form like these bridal camellias:
Golden Metallic camellia

As I am planning my next collection, I have some new fabrics to experiment with, and camellia will be high on my list of flowers to experiment with, as its simple symmetrical from and clean lines appeal to me a lot. Do they to you?

Oversized flowers: to dare or not to dare

It seems that I create my flowers faster than I write about them 🙂 Which is probably not bad!
I have noticed that there are quite a lot of oversized flowers found in bridal and fashion collections. They can be worn as hair accessories, as waist line decoration or an arm corsage. Pinterest is full of ideas and photos.
So I have decided to try and make one myself. In fact I have another thought about an oversized flower which is more fluffy and airy but this version is all noble, regular and smooth.
The flower is a large fantasy camellia about 15 cm in diameter which looks like a small hat in itself.
I painted it in shades of blush pink and mounted it on a headband.
The flower is made of silk satin, the leaves are made of lace and doubled with silk organza.
The headband (as always) is wrapped with thin silk.
All the fabrics and the lace used have been painted by hand.
I believe that this hat is a unique and delicate accessory to complete a bridal image and does look very nice when worn.

silk camellia

Please share your opinion on this new design of mine in the comments below.