before so it wasn't much of a surprise to come across the picture above over at the always eclectic Black and WTF. This hairstyle, which was put together for the New York World's Fair in 1939, certainly joins the long list of frigates-in-your-hair type styles. The ship, in point of fact, looks a little like one of Columbus' galleons.
This curious fashion began, of course, with Marie Antoinette who - at least up to this writing - remains the ultimate queen of excess. Not that others haven't challenged her for the position. Big hair is just one of the many things she flaunted while the masses went hungry. Why not put a ship in full sail on top? And so the style has popped up now and then, usually when economies are fairly stable.
Seeing this picture and its date rather reverses that trend. The U.S. was still a little unsteady post-Great Depression in 1939 and war was in the offing. The ship-on-your-head hairstyle seems more appropriate for the 1950s when designers like Dior and Balenciaga took their inspirations from the excesses of Marie Antoinette. Yards of fabric, jewels, expensive perfumes, snake skin and crocodile all won the hearts of those who could afford them, so why not ships-on-heads?
It's safe to say that, unless we eventually tumble into a The Hunger Games sort of world, you'll never see ladies on the street with ships in their hair. That is, not outside the Capital. But that doesn't mean there isn't time to consider a Hallowe'en costume topped with a ship. Everyone loves a nautical touch, after all.