Meet Victoria Percival, The Designer Behind Katherine Ryan’s Statement Headbands In The Duchess

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The Duchess

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

‘Raunchy’, ‘witty’ and ‘irreverent’ are the three words chosen to describe The Duchess, the brand new show from comedian Katherine Ryan, on Netflix. But they made one serious omission: ‘headband-tastic’. Well, it's a word now and yes, it perfectly summarises what is truly a tour de force in the headgear category. Just in the trailer alone, Ryan is seen wearing five of the most, well, head-turning headbands that you could possibly imagine - and they're from Victoria Percival.

It all started when, working as a wedding make-up artist, she started making hair accessories for her brides. After officially launching the business at her kitchen table two years ago, she got in touch with Jennifer Michalski-Bray, Ryan’s stylist, as a huge admirer of her work. Ryan wore one of her pieces for Your Face Or Mine, and the rest is history. Percival now has a team of five, a studio in Buckinghamshire and a growing celebrity following. ‘When I got the call to make our Aphrodite Pearl Halo for Katherine’s wedding in Denmark,’ she remembers, ‘It was one of the proudest days of my career. She looked absolutely amazing.’

The Duchess’s costume department must have been a feast for the eyes, with every outfit fizzing with colour, print and, naturally, sparkle. In the end, Percival provided 12 headbands - some of which were made bespoke - as well as several hair pins and jewels. ‘Each headband is hand-sewn in our studio and, depending on the piece, it can take around 15 hours to create one beaded halo,’ says Percival. Each look was carefully puzzled together by Michalski-Bray, who shared moodboards for each scene with both Percival and the make-up artist, Fiona Eustace. ‘We were in contact every day and, sometimes, I only had a few days to create something that would work. It was so exciting to see the fashion looks come together - and, of course, Katherine owned each and every one.’

She certainly does, wearing a jumper that says ‘World’s Smallest Pussy’ over feathered silk pyjamas in the opening episode. With not as many occasions to dress up for at the moment, the show certainly celebrates the joie de vivre side of fashion that we've so been missing. That said, who’s to stop you wearing a headband at home?

‘I am always wearing one!’ says Percival. ‘Part of our crucial design process is to test how comfortable the pieces are, as they have to look stunning 360 degrees, so I'm often testing out the pieces at my desk. I wear them to dinners, weddings and on holiday too. There is something so fun about adding colour and sparkle to the hair - so really any excuse!’ There you have it, go forth - and wear headbands.


SEE: The Victoria Percival Hair Accessories Worn In The Duchess

Victoria Percival, Venus Halo, £6451 of 4

Victoria Percival, Venus Halo, £645

Victoria Percival, Semi-Precious Rainbow Halo, £9252 of 4

Victoria Percival, Semi-Precious Rainbow Halo, £925

Victoria Percival, Nyx Headband, £6253 of 4

Victoria Percival, Nyx Headband, £625

Victoria Percival, Monte Carlo Giant Pearl Pins, £604 of 4

Victoria Percival, Monte Carlo Giant Pearl Pins, £60

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