Friday, May 20, 2011

Booty: Hair (and Sail) Raising

Over at The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century, the lovely Heather posted recently about a fashion statement from her era of expertise that is making a bit of a comeback. 

Of course, the enormous mounds of hair that crowned wealthy European heads in the late 18th century are quite recognizable to just about everyone. In fact, replicas have become somewhat of a staple in the Goth revival of the last ten years. Known in their heyday as perruques (which simply means “wigs” in French), the eye-catching if sometimes ridiculous hairstyles were said to be inspired by Queen Marie Antoinette’s unflatteringly high forehead.

The fact that some featured amazing architecture was a point of scorn even in their own time. When the French Queen appeared at a ball wearing a three-masted frigate in full sail on her powdered hair, the pundits went wild. Of course so did the fashionistas on both sides of the Channel, scrambling to anchor a ship on their own hair ASAP. The fashion passed as quickly as it came, no doubt hurried out by the French Revolution’s egalitarian way with noble heads.

So it is at least somewhat amazing that the design house of Victorio and Lucchino featured the “ship wig” at Bridal Week in Barcelona. The model strutted the runway with a frigate in full sail firmly (one hopes) attached to what appears to be her own hair. Click here to see Heather’s post and the picture of the wig in question.

While I personally would rather climb rigging than sport it on my head, I do have to say that anything that gives a nod to the Great Age of Sail is always a welcome sight.

Header: 18th century caricature of the mode for perruques fregate


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! That is pretty silly, if you ask me... Of course, no one is asking me... But if someome will pay for it, more power to the designer, I guess.

Pauline said...

Ahoy, Timmy! The reality is that the frigate "wig" is a runway look. No one is actually going to wear a ship on their head to get married, or anything else for tat matter. Nice touch, though.