Nobody can deny the talent and skill of designer Jannie Baltzer, creator of headpieces that give fairytale fantasies a fashion-forward twist – after all, this is an artisan who received an honorary prize from none other than Princess Benedikte of Denmark, a reward for her stand-out creativity. As seen in the Spring 2015 issue of New Zealand Weddings, the Jannie Baltzer Copenhagen 2016 collection of handmade veils and headpieces references the beautiful simplicity of Scandanavian design and has a bohemian feel offset by luxuriant materials including Preciosa crystals, pearl and guipere lace. We spoke to Jannie about all this and more.
What led you to designing headwear?
As long as I can remember, I wanted to have a creative career, and ended up being a professional Latin dancer for more than 20 years. I travelled the world teaching, competing and demonstrating, and had an amazing time. When I was 25, I decided to return to Denmark, where I after three years I graduated from the Scandinavian Academy of International Fashion and Design in Copenhagen. I’ve always had a passion for accessories, and during my competitive dancing career, I designed all my dresses using the stunning Preciosa crystals I use today, so the switch was quite easy.
Outside of the collections available on your website, do you make bespoke pieces on request from brides?
I love getting involved with brides from all over the world and designing custom-made pieces to make sure they get the perfect hair accessory. This means a lot of emailing back and forth, and I often make a little mood board for them, to which I add pictures of shoes, hairstyles, headpieces and dresses, so they can see my vision. It’s an amazing feeling to meet a new client and be shown her thoughts and dreams.
Do you have any celebrity clients?
British singer Pixie Lott wears my headpieces. I’ve also been very excited to see the editor of Brazilian Vogue, the fashion editor of Danish Elle and the editor of British Glamour in my designs.
What’s the best way for a bride to secure a headpiece in her wedding-day hairdo?
It really depends on the hair texture, headpiece and hairstyle, but I usually recommend hairpieces that attach with silk ribbons or a comb, because they hold really well.
Which types of headpieces work best with an updo, and which work best with flowing or short locks?
A comb is perfect with an updo, as it can be styled in many different ways. A lot of the headpieces in my 2016 collection wave beautifully from the back towards the face, so they’re lovely with loose hair.
How should your pieces be stored?
Hatboxes are perfect for storing your heirloom piece before and after the wedding. I’ve designed and offer my brides beautiful hatboxes that are handmade in London.
Your new-season pieces are designed with a bohemian feel – do you envisage them being worn beyond the wedding?
They would be perfect for a party or a night out because they can be styled in so many different ways. I have a busy schedule, so for day I wear my hair in a high bun. But when I go out, I love to add some glamour with one of my headbands.
What goes into the creation of a Jannie Baltzer piece?
I start by moulding the shape of the headpiece in my hand and cut out different kinds of lace. Everything will then be hand-dyed. After that, I lay out all the little pieces of lace and decide how I want to add the Preciosa crystals and pearls. All of the embellishments are then sewn on by hand, and then lastly I place the smaller pieces of hand-beaded lace on the headpiece. It’s quite a time-consuming process!
The Preciosa crystals you use are divine – what other materials have you worked with in creating this collection?
I always work with the most exquisite materials, like French lace, handmade silk flowers and guipure lace. For this new collection, I’ve designed a beautiful gold lace that has been made especially for me.
What do you love most about your job?
I feel very lucky that my passion is also my job, and that I get to meet so many lovely brides from all over the world.
What has working with them taught you about love?
Never go to bed angry!