12/18/2008

Hair-do of the week - French women in 1900


This picture is from the French publication "La Coiffure Francaise Illustrée", from 1900. This Victorian and Edwardian magazine showed the hair-dos done by different French (or perhaps more correctly Parisian) hair-dressers. In this case the creator is Georges Girard - of course working from Paris.

The hair-dos of the late 19th century and early 20th century could be quite intricate. When looking at photos from the time they often come across as much simpler though, all the hair combed up to make a big bun on top of the head, but when the time, money and occasion allowed it things could get much more artistic - with curls and ornaments all over the place (which must have made them quite heavy and cumbersome to wear).

But they all have one thing in common - even with much simpler hair-dos of the time - and that is that they were based on the idea that the hair should be up, as up as it could possibly be, and as little as possible should be hanging down. At the bottom pictures (that shows the same hair-do from different angels) you can see some curls hanging down at the back of the neck, but that is all. It was much more alright for the hair to hang down around the forehead - and the hair-dos were not really made for wearing a hat. Hats were still a must for all proper ladies, so this could be seen as a sure sign that the coiffures shown here were made for either special hats, suitable for the occasion (as in the upper left corner) or made for evening-wear when hats were not present. The more ordinary hair-dos were, on the other hand, perfect for placing a big hat on top of.

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