A few months ago I was commissioned to make a special custom bridal fascinator featuring milkweed husks. Yesterday I climbed up on our roof to take some photos of it with the Toronto skyline in the background. The wedding this weekend is taking place in an old family orchard among chirping chickadees and blossoms; the setting of these photographs couldn’t possibly be more different! But the graceful arc of the milkweed pods suggest flight to me so strongly it seemed appropriated to have their wings silhouetted against the sky.
I love the tones of this piece, beginning with the milkweed husks themselves – the soft shaggy grey and silver of their exteriors and the almost iridescent gold sheen on the inside of the husks. I built the base of the fascinator out of the subtle and beautiful green linen the bride provided me (to match her dress, natch), and with that third colour the piece began to take shape. I used vintage mother of pearl buttons to echo the milkweed pods’ iridescence and vintage rhinestones for a bit more sparkle; their age has tempered their brilliance with just the right amount of tarnish to pick up the darker grey of the shaggy milkweed’s coats.
The bride chose the shells in the centre of the piece from my stash; they each feature a tiny delicate spiral design. I think it is so apt that she chose these for her wedding and I love the symbolism we can tease out of a spiral, those old and enigmatic motifs: from a centre the path extends, growing gracefully, it is the path of our lives, the direction; it suggests memory, cycles, and all the possibilities of birth and life and expansion.
I stitched a handful of vintage glass seed beads and faux pearls around the shells and rhinestones, building up the decoration organicly and thinking all the while of the beach stones and barnacles:
A swath of russian birdcage netting for the veil and this whimsical fascinator is complete.
I hope you have a beautiful day, N. Thank you for including me in your special day and all my blessings for this next joyous step in your life together!