Ukrainian women are wearing traditional flower crowns for a boldly beautiful reason
The flower crown may be your favorite Snapchat filter, but it’s got nothing on these elaborate, real-life flower crowns from Ukraine. Called “vinok,” flower crowns are a traditional accessory for the people of Ukraine. The gorgeous floral headpieces were typically worn at marriage ceremonies by both the bride and groom, but also (mind the sexism) represented purity in young women.
These flowers crowns have become increasingly popular as a fashion statement and the reason for their popularity is just about as lovely as the crowns themselves.
In a February 2016 article about vinok, Vogue wrote that all of this recent flower crown love is based partly on an increase in Ukrainian national pride and partly because this floral fashion statement represents peace.
These symbols of beauty seem to have become more prominent after the 2014 revolution in Ukraine. Vogue spoke with a woman who owns a store that sells traditional clothing in Lviv, Ukraine — Ulyana Yavna — and she noted the change in style since the revolution.
"After the Ukrainian revolution, all Ukrainian symbols have become really popular," Yavna said. "The vinok is really simple to wear and buy, and it's not expensive. People here in Lviv will wear a small vinok in daily life."
Other people in the fashion industry have noticed the trend, too. Model Nadiia Shapoval also spoke to Vogue about how she wore a vinok at her own wedding. “After the revolution, more people wore them to weddings,” Shapoval explained.
Shapoval is the person who brought up that the flowers may be symbolic of the peace that people throughout the world are craving — especially in light of the recently war-torn Ukraine.
"I think we are coming back to floral themes because fashion is starting to react on wars that we are having around the globe," Shapoval said. "We need some tenderness."
No matter the reason for their popularity, there’s no denying the beauty that the flower crown conveys. And the Ukrainian art studio Треті Півні, translated as Three Roosters, has taken inspiration from this.
Atlas Obscura wrote about how Three Roosters is recreating traditional flower crowns from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the results are just as stunning as you’d expect:
So next time you use that Snapchat filter, be reminded of the cultural impact that flower crowns have beyond just how pretty they look.