The 1948 movie The Red Shoes, restored by Scorsese and offered by Criterion Collection, is a marvel in more ways than we can name. Directed by the Archers, it’s a feat of Technicolor, a loose retelling of a Hans Christian Andersen story in which a dancer comes into possession of a pair of demonic slippers. Moira Shearer is radiant as the lead.
In a few of the scenes, Shearer’s character, prima ballerina Vicky Page, wears floral headpieces (blue delphiniums, we think) that snap against her titian curls.
Her red hair is no joke.
C — who got married in an antique wax orange blossom headpiece circa 1910 — has always wanted to try making her own hair wear with fresh flowers. And what better excuse than a holiday party?
What You’ll Need for a Floral Headpiece
Some lovely, small and hardy fresh flowers (daisies, orchids, narcissus work well; roses too if you want bigger blooms)
A side comb (like these)
She went to a CVS for the combs and a local florist for the tape, wire and two bunches of flowers, one of stock and one of delphinium. In the end, the shoot of delphinium won out because of its lack of scent, rich violet color and the friendly structure of its pedicellate flowers. They weren’t sky blue like in the movie, but this was a good start.
C broke off a few moderately full sprigs, taping up the ends to help them retain moisture. Then she secured them to the comb by wrapping the wire — not too loosely, not too tightly — in between the teeth of the comb and around the stems.
She stuffed additional stems into the loops of the wire to fill out the headpiece, wrapping extra wire where needed. Just be warned that delphinium sheds like the dickens.
Our friend Jill was throwing the soiree. The theme: no pants. RB wore thermal underwear, and now everyone calls him Baryshnikov. C wore a leotard and a silvery batwing thing, and made up for her pantslessness by sticking some delphinium in her ’do.