A far cry from the prissy pieces loved by ’90s brides or your plastic princess party efforts: we love the tiara’s modern-day makeover
With the advent of fashion-forward browbands and hairvines, tiaras fell of the bridal radar in the early Noughties. The idea might seem passé or too traditional for your laidback nuptials, but the tiara is having a revival. And you’d be crazy to miss out.
Blame it on Yves Saint Laurent. In 2015, the celebrated fashion house, fresh from its overhaul at the hands of Hedi Slimane, propelled a pouting Agyness Deyn down the catwalk in oversized black leather and a crystal tiara, sending shockwaves through the FROW. Two years on, and the bridal industry is catching up at last. The tiara, though certainly no stranger to the aisle, has now begun to capture some of that same nonchalance, either in terms of its design or, more often, via clever styling.
“Never underestimate the tiara,” urges accessory designer Corrine Smith. “As bridal fashion evolves, there is always room for the traditional headpiece. We are finding that today’s brides are falling in love with the historic diadem all over again, albeit with a contemporary twist.” So how to put a new spin on an accessory that’s weighed down by heritage? “Positioning is really important,” stresses Angela Hall of Emma Rose Bridal Accessories. “Ideally, you’d have your tiara with you at your hair trial, so your stylist will feel confident about how to place it on the day.”
Where exactly the tiara sits on your head will have an enormous impact on how it looks and feels. The rule of thumb is to bring it forward. Gone are the days when the tiara sat loftily on the crown of the head, tucked into a fussy chignon. Now, it’s to be treated like an Alice band or browband, placed a and couple of inches back from the hairline or across the forehead, with every inch of the piece on show.
Pay attention to the shape of your face too, Natasha Hutchison at Modiste cautions: “Choose a style that’s the opposite of your face shape. Rounded and oval-shaped faces suit peaked tiaras, and longer faces should be teamed with rounded silhouettes.” And, above all, make sure the tiara is comfortable to wear. “Where possible, choose a band fixing that is malleable, so it can be moulded into position,” suggests Natasha.
What’s the plan for your hair? There’s no magic formula, but whether your locks are up or down, the goal is a relaxed, gentle style. “To rock a tiara and keep it modern, I’d recommend making it the stand-out feature by sporting sleek, uncomplicated, polished hair,” says Liberty in Love’s Siu Coll. Angela agrees: “Aim for smooth volume at the front and add flair at the back with a fishtail or braid-based updo. Another idea is to have your hair half up and half down, with so curls and twisted braids.” No matter the style, always opt for body – backcombing will be your best bet. “A little volume on the top of the head will even out the height that a tiara usually has built into its design,” outlines Stephanie Stephanides at Hermione Harbutt.
Edgy, directional and just darn pretty: welcome to the tiara club.
Here’s 25 of our favourite bridal tiaras: