Another Round of Dueling Fashionistas Begins With . . .
The 18th century was a glorious time for coiffures. They were absurdly tall, sausage and pin curled, stuck with feathers and baubles and ribbons. They housed ships and birdcages, were tools for storytelling or political/personal commemoration. In short, they were EPIC. Arrive at the 1780s, however, and ladies’ hairstyles fell flat.
I blame it on the hedgehog wig. Compared with the glamorous, albeit headache inducing pouf, I’d slap the style with an ‘uninspired’ stamp, but they must have held some charm. They were widely favored for almost two decades, from the 1780s to the 1790s. Early adoptees touted them as a return to a more natural, effortless appearance, and they kind of are. Maybe it’s the color–dishwater grey, like a wig that’s been trampled on in the street–or the fact that, as the name suggests, they resemble a hedgehog placed atop one’s head with a dignified curl underneath. American Duchess replicates it with her own hair, and I must say, it’s attractive. But the 18th century versions are frowsy.
If we pick the hairstyles below to pieces, Lady hedgehog #1 separates herself from #2 and#3 by wearing crown frizz. Yes, the nemesis of modern curls was fashionable in the 1700s. For all that I’ve lambasted this hairstyle, I believe #1’s wig is slightly more becoming. Ladies Hedgehog #2 and #3 have smoothed their coiffures from the crown, coiled half the hair into a top knot, and curled the bottom. The style is neater but looks like it would require a can of Elnett to keep it in place. Hardly natural.
I bear a strong dislike for one and all, but I’m wondering if I’m alone here. What do you think? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? And what about the clothes? They’re pale affairs, ruffled and feminine down to the empire waist (#1 and #2) or past the fichu on #3, but not objectionable in and of themselves, right?
Let your vote be heard! Who wins this edition of Dueling Fashionistas and why?