The penchant for wearing flowers in one's hair was not, of course, something that originated in San Francisco during the Summer of Love; peoples all around the world have been adorning themselves in this fashion for millennia. However, I'm particularly fascinated (at the moment) by the Ukranian floral headdress known in English as the vinok.
Traditionally worn by girls and unmarried women, the vinok has its origins in fertility rites that pre-date Christianity. Signifying virginity, the vinok was also believed to offer protection against evil spirits and followers of Slavic neopaganism - known as Rodnovery - continue to attach magical significance to the vinok.
Whilst mostly worn on festive occasions and holy days, since the 2014 Ukranian revolution the vinok has been increasingly worn in daily life as an expression of national pride and völkisch identity. This might cause concern amongst those suspicious of reactionary populism in Europe. However, it might be noted that the vinok is also often worn by the topless activists of Femen, for whom it signifies a new, insubordinate and heroic model of femininity.*
It might also be noted, finally, that the vinok has influenced the world of fashion and featured in several recent catwalk collections, including the Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Spring 2016 menswear collection, where models wore botanical crowns in a show entitled Armour of Peace:
* Note: it's not coincidental, of course, that although now based in Paris, Femen was founded in the Ukraine and is still led by a Ukranian woman, Inna Shevchenko. Readers might like to know that the Femen Flower Crown - handmade by activists - is available to buy for €35.00 on the Femen website: click here.