The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of the Flower Crown

On the one-year anniversary of Snapchat's flower crown lens, I'm changing my stance on the music festival staple—and here's why you should, too.

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Some people have a hard time defining beauty. Not me. I can tell you exactly where to find it: Sandro Botticelli's 1482 masterpiece, "La Primavera." Admire the voluptuous bodies, graceful poses, and delicate faces of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, the Three Graces to her right, and Flora, the goddess of flowers, to her left. Oh, and what's that on Flora's head?

You guessed it—a flower crown.

Show me a more perfect representation of a flower crown. I'll wait.
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While I've always thought Flora eerily resembled the love child of Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow, I've been captivated by her serene expression, the incredible textile of her dress, and the intricate wreath of flower buds on her head. This, to me, is the truest form of the flower crown. So where did it all go wrong?

Fast-forward a handful of centuries later, and the flower crown, once reserved for deities in Renaissance paintings, is everywhere. Or, more specifically, it's at every music festival on earth. The flower crown has a very rich history—from Julius Caesar-style laurel wreaths to traditional Ukrainian vinoks to ancient Chinese orange blossom wedding crowns—but in recent years, it's lost its various meanings. The former ancient Roman symbol of victory and emblem of nonviolence for the late 1960s flower-power movement now makes a more superficial statement: it says simply, "pretty."

The only time I've worn a flower crown was to a Swedish Midsummer Festival—a very valid excuse, if I may say so.
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But that's no reason to throw it away once you're no longer feeling it. The flower crown is a classic, and today, on the one-year anniversary of Snapchat's flower crown lens, I propose that we give the floral headpiece a fresh start. Whether you're rolling your eyes at another summer of festivals spent moving through a sea of flower crowns, or you've already got your crown picked out, consider giving the accessory the second chance it deserves.

What else gives you a victorious, ceremonial, beatific-Renaissance-deity air while also highlighting your eyes and cheekbones?

After all, what is more pleasant than the idea of weaving flowers into your hair and basking in the summer sun? What else gives you a victorious, ceremonial, beatific-Renaissance-deity air while also highlighting your eyes and cheekbones? Let's bring back some of those positive associations they once carried—just with a slight update for 2017. Take a cue from runway looks like Dior's oversize, structural flowers, or give it your own personal twist—and let all of your preconceived notions of the headpiece fall away.

My go-to music festival headwear is more crown lens, less crown—but this might be the year I change that.
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No time to pick fresh flowers and D.I.Y. your own crown? Usher in the festival season with the next generation of flower headwear, which features bright, embroidered blooms, laser-cut petals, and gold-dipped leaves.

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Floral Hair Tie, $3, forever21.com.

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Lead Detail Head Crown by Faye Boutique, $16, us.boohoo.com.

Festival Flower Pom Ear Headband, $19, asos.com.

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Lowie Pom-Pom Headband, $62, trouva.com.

Wallpaper Headpiece, $94, wolf-and-moon.com.

Barbed Ivy Silk Headband, $148, leletny.com.

Flock Silk Headband by Yunotme, $300, net-a-porter.com.

Flower Crown Headpiece by Magnetic Midnight, $600, fivestoryny.com.

Rowena Circlet, $625, jenniferbehr.com.

Looking for some floral inspiration? Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @chantagold to see where I take the flower crown next.

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