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Mardi Gras Accessories: Crown Me!

Updated on August 4, 2013

Dynasty Collection Show Room

This shop features custom-made crowns, sceptors, pins, and more!
This shop features custom-made crowns, sceptors, pins, and more! | Source

Crowned Heads

In communities across the Gulf Coast, from Galveston, Texas to Pensacola, Florida, many Mardi Gras societies celebrate their group's leaders by making them Kings, Queens, Emblems, Maids and Knights. For many a King or Queen, this is the role of a lifetime. Not content with a crown from the local bridal store, many set out to have their crowns and other accessories custom-made so they can rule over their minions in true style.

Types of Accessories

It's all about the bling. Most Mardi Gras accessories feature Swarkovski crystals. Although the effect is faux, the price can still be high. Members of groups usually wear their organizations' letter in rhinestone pins. In addition, some of the older groups feature lovely brass, vintage-looking pins usually based on an original design. Special leaders may receive special pins designating their hard-won position. Necklaces can be worn using a doubloon insert so the coin of each year can be swapped out. At the very least, you will need a rhinestone pin to attach your escort ribbons. Pins can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 generally.

If you are the King or Queen of an organization, you will need to decide on a proper crown. Crowns are actually based on historical representations so you can fit the style of the crown to your appearance, clothing, or even personality. Consider whether you need a Renaissance crown or a Victorian crown, just to think of a few styles. Should you wear gold or silver? Gold is generally slightly more. Crowns come in wrap around styles that are adjustable; they can even be personalized with your initials to create something that is certain to be a family keepsake. The price range for a crown ready to wear, without custom initials, off the shelf is around $400 to $900 dollars. Bespoke crown shops even offer custom work, as they are trained as jewelers. Expect to pay in the range of $750 to $3,500 for a custom crown. If you are a King or Queen, you will also need a scepter. Typically, the bespoke stores can match your scepter to your crown.

If money is tight, other online stores like Crown Designers can help for up to half the price of a local bespoke shop. Wedding tiaras have become popular, so these online companies have many replicas of historic crowns available as low as $60.00. Some are even adjustable or can come in three different sizes; however, it's hard to match the appeal of an heirloom piece you'll remember forever.

What Type of Crown Is Best For Your Face Shape?

Krewe of Rex

Oliver Irving, New Orleans, made these crowns for the Krewe of Rex.
Oliver Irving, New Orleans, made these crowns for the Krewe of Rex. | Source
Mobile, Alabama Queen of Carnival several years back.  Crown based on 1800's crown designed by Dynasty Collection.
Mobile, Alabama Queen of Carnival several years back. Crown based on 1800's crown designed by Dynasty Collection. | Source

Custom Crown Stores

Dynasty Collection, Old Shell Road, Mobile, AL- This shop owned by Tommy and Tanya Cain has been making crowns for Kings and Queens as far away as New Orleans. In fact, several celebrities have been fitted for crowns in their small, but bling-loaded showroom, such as Will Ferrell, Drew Brees, Val Kilmer, and Andy Garcia. Crowns and sceptors are based upon historical representations and they also custom make them.

Crown Designers, www.crowndesigners.com

Oliver Irving, www.oliver-irving.com New Orleans

Holly Hardwick, www.hollyhardwick.com Pageant crowns

Dynasty Collection Discusses Crown Making For Drew Brees

150 Years of Imaginary Kingdoms

While some might find the idea of a paying so much for Mardi Gras accessories as wasteful spending or completely frivolous, Mardi Gras supports many craftsmen year round. In many areas along the Gulf Coast, we are approaching 150 years of imaginary kingdoms. Who can resist the urge to rule over others? While it is unusual that Americans love to play-act the monarchy, once Fat Tuesday is over, the make believe is over except for the memories.

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