Bye Bye Flowers: Mermaid Crowns Are This Year’s Festival Staple

mermaid crown instagram festival fashion

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

Sorry Taylor Swift, but you've just been proved wrong.

We aren't referring to that Kim-Kanye-Snapchat debacle, but to a style pronouncement that Swifty made earlier this year. Rewind past Hiddleswift and cast your mind back to Coachella - the beginning of what we now fondly reminisce upon as her short-lived 'dress like Jenny Humphrey from Gossip Girl' phase - when the singer posted an Instagram picture with the caption 'I feel like chokers are maybe the new flower crowns?'

This edict from the newly peroxide singer doubtless caused a wave of panic in the festival fashion community (Vanessa Hudgens, we felt your pain), but Swift's accessory of choice has already been dethroned by a new - and very Instagram-friendly - pretender: the mermaid crown.

Made using a showstopping combination of real shells and dazzling jewels and gemstones, this trend is festival headgear 2.0: not for the faint of heart (or, we suppose, the sensitive of head - these things look heavy) but with serious style caché. Ariel would certainly approve.

The trend started with 27-year-old Chelsea Shiels, a florist from Melbourne, Australia, who had previously turned her green fingers to making and selling Coachella-worthy floral garlands. It was her love of Disney's Little Mermaid, though, that led her to experiment with shells. 'I've always wanted to be Ariel, under the sea,' she tells Cosmopolitan. 'I'm a real beach bum. That was where my obsession with the sea and shells came from.'

Each crown is a veritable work of art. No style is the same, with larger designs featuring up to 50 shells - all of which have been responsibly sourced. Instead of heading down to her local beach with a bucket and spade, Chelsea explains that she only uses shells from locations which have them in excess.

'I only buy from suppliers that only collect shells from over flowing beaches around the world. My main supplier donates 30 percent of proceeds back into a variety of charities... mainly to help preserve the Great Barrier Reef!' she writes on one Instagram post.

Creating a tiara worthy of Ariel herself can be labour intensive, not merely because it can take a while for the crown to set. 'I wing it with every single one,' Chelsea reveals to Cosmopolitan. 'I never have a vision in my head before I start. I get inspiration from each different shell that I use and the colors and the contrast. It comes to me as I make it.'

You can find Chelsea's mermaid crowns (and some floral garlands for good measure) on her Etsy store, Chelsea's Flower Crowns, but you might have to bookmark and keep checking back: a true Instagram success story, her designs have proved so popular that they're currently sold out. And if you're handy with a glue gun? There's always the DIY option, though...

READ MORE: Festival Favourite: The Bum Bag Is Making A Comeback

READ MORE: The Edit: What To Wear To A Festival This Summer

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