Chapeau Vivant

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Brides looking for a twist on the traditional veil will find flowers an avant-garde and eye-catching option. Here, designer Arthur Williams, AIFD, EMC, CPF, of Babylon Floral Design in Denver, Colo., shares his signature mechanics for floral headpieces, which he demonstrated at last year’s AIFD National Symposium.

Inspired by tribal cultures and cutting-edge hair stylists, Arthur integrates his creations directly into his models’ own hair to create a unified look that while asymmetrically designed is still physically balanced. “My philosophies for fashion pieces are ‘simpler is better’ and ‘always respect the water requirements of the floral materials,’” he describes. As in this design, Arthur often chooses tropical flowers, callas and foliages, which do not require a water source, as well as blooms that can accommodate a hidden water tube, such as the garden roses used here. He is careful to ensure the final product is lightweight and comfortable for the wearer.

Materials

Anthuriums,‘Free Spirit’ garden roses (Rosa spp.), miniature callas (Zantedeschia spp.), Mokara orchids, New Zealand flax (Phormium), variegated lily grass (Liriope), ti leaves (Cordyline), cast-iron leaves (Aspidistra), plastic-foam wreath, yarn, corsage pins, water tubes.

Step 1

Cover a plastic-foam wreath form with yarn (shown), hair extensions, moss or ribbon. Wrap hair around the wreath form, and pin securely. A firm and unmoving base must be achieved, and Arthur often works with a hair stylist to ensure a secure base and that the hair is not being pulled from any single point.

Chapeau Vivant

Chapeau Vivant

Step 2

Secure the flowers and rolled and folded foliages to the wreath form with corsage pins. Insert rose stems into water tubes, and use the spaces within the structure to conceal the water tubes. “I always have at least two to three structures in the hair, a ‘going to’ and ‘coming from’ concept, or simply ‘growing points’,” Arthur describes.

Chapeau Vivant