Pardon, pensez-vous que le cygne est un peu trop?


Loughborough, United Kingdom

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Pardon, pensez-vous que le cygne est un peu trop? or roughly transated, Excuse me, do you think that the swan is too much?
© Julie McIver/WickedlyLovely
Free hand digital painting with textures.

In the mid- to late-1770s, huge hair became all the rage. The height of these styles was generally about 1 to 1 1/2 times the length of the face, and was styled in what was considered a pyramid shape (it also looks very much like a hot air balloon). This high hairstyle, called the pouf, was created usingtoques (or “cushions”) which were made of fabric or cork and shaped like a heart or spear. It was attached to the top of the head, and then natural and false hair was curled, waved, or frizzed and piled over and around the cushion. Such elaborate hairstyles could be worn for days or weeks at a time. The high hairstyle was often styled into allegories of current events, such as à l’inoculation (vaccine), ballon(Montgolfier balloon experiments); or concepts, such as à la Zodiaque, à la frivolité, des migraines, etc. Ornaments included lots of ribbons, pearls, jewels, flowers, feathers, as well as ships, birdcages, and other items that evoked the theme. In 1774, the Duchess of Devonshire created a sensation when she introduced ostrich feathers into her hair.
Side curls angled up towards the top back of the hair. The back hair was generally styled in a looped-up ponytail or braid. Long curls were often left hanging at the nape of the neck. French styles often had an extra “bump” in the front of the hair, right above the forehead. In this period, both French and Englishwomen usually powdered their hair.
In 1775, Queen Maria Theresa of Austria-Hungary wrote to her daughter Marie-Antoinette,
“Likewise I cannot help but touch upon a point that many of the papers repeat to me too often: it is the hairstyle that you wear. They say that from the roots it measures 36 pouces high and with all the feathers and ribbons that hold all of that up! You know that I have always been of the opinion that one should follow fashion moderately, but never carry it to excess. A pretty young queen full of charms has no need of all these follies. Quite the contrary. A simple hairstyle suits her better and is more appropriate for a queen. She must set the tone, and everyone will hurry to follow even your smallest errors…”

Marie-Antoinette responded,
“It is true that I am a bit occupied by my hairstyle, and as for the feathers, everyone wears them, and it would look extraordinarily out of place not to”

Taken from Demonde

Artwork Comments

  • Donna19
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  • © Kira Bodensted
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