Always In Bloom
Romantic Homes|January 2017

Antique and vintage millinery flowers provide endless color and beauty to your home décor.

Lidy Baars

Once the darlings of fashion, millinery flowers, with their hand-cut, hand-painted ethereal petals forming exquisite flowers, are collected today for their sheer beauty and artistic form.

Always in bloom, these flowers are not just for wearing but create a personal, engaging display in your home. Not to be confused with the faux flowers of today, these beauties are in a quality class of their own.

History

Millinery has existed since the early 16th century; the term comes from the name for travelling haberdashers from Milan, Italy. These merchants, known as Millaners, traveled to northern Europe to trade their silks, ribbons, braid work and other fine trims.

In the 18th century, milliners launched the millinery profession by establishing retail shops where one could purchase bonnets and hats made to order to go with fashionable clothing. They also offered trims, laces and fabric flowers for sale.

Rose Bertin of France is the first celebrated milliner; she is linked to the extravagant hats and headdresses of Marie Antoinette. Together with T.J. Wenzel, the queen’s flower maker, she is credited, alongside Marie, with establishing haute couture in Paris.

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