Hairstyles beginning of the twentieth century
Following the Victorian era, with its static, heavy lines, it was time for grace and visual lightness. The fashion was Japan, the motives of water and climbing plants. The woman was represented by artists as an unearthly, disembodied creature, fairy, dryad. In the paintings of famous masters of the time, the curved contours of the body continue to fancifully folded or loose hair.
In the era of the domination of the Art Nouveau style, in the 1890–1900s, women's hair became not only the pride of their owners, but also the object of creative reflection: long hair and curls became an integral part of the ornaments and decorative works in the Art Nouveau style. They marked the works of English Pre-Raphaelites, and after them - Symbolist artists. Whole waves of female hair were depicted on the posters of Alphonse Mucha and Thomas Steinlen. Verbose descriptions of hairstyles were found in the pages of the novels of Marcel Proust and John Galsworthy, and the whole world was conquered by the Gibson Girl, an image of a beautiful woman with thick waves of hair created by the American journal illustrator Charles Dun Gibson. It is curious at the same time that almost for the first time in the history of European civilization, bright red hair turned out to be fashionable.
However, in ordinary life, outside the world of artistic dreams and fantasies, no one wore loose hair to the floor and was not confused in thick curls, except for those characters of the art scene who, like Zinaida Gippius in Russia, assigned themselves to the role of a “decadent Madonna” .
Reality was more modest. In the 1890s, fashion with hair gathered at the crown or on the back of the head into a loop, “pie”, “nest”, etc., came along with closed dresses. Numerous and diverse types of perm past decades have sunk into oblivion. The finished, rather voluminous, hairstyle was drawn up with the help of forceps “waves” (the wave is one of the favorite motifs of modernity). In most cases, additional wire, cardboard and horn frames, as well as fake hair, were used to add volume and “waves”. The volumetric hairstyles of the modern era also influenced the features of the ladies' hats of that time: they were made with an extremely wide crown, since such a hat was worn not so much on the head as on the hair.
Decorated this hairstyle with black wide ribbons or bows. Hair accessories have received a lot of attention. Popular sets of studs and combs. The real tortoiseshell combs were in fashion, in some cases repeating the shape of a high Spanish crest, but decorated with “new style” ornaments or images of flowers. They cost a lot, remember, for example, O’Henry’s story The Gifts of the Magi. And the poetess Irina Odoyevtseva wrote how Nikolai Gumilev told her about the Christmas present to Anna Akhmatova, who included a tortoise crest with cones among other things: “... I knew that she had long been dreaming of him” (Odoevtseva 1998: 544).
Hairstyles for the evening and the ball, except for the combs, were decorated with eggretas, stuffed birds or flowers: young women with large flowers (roses, chrysanthemums, carnations), and girls with green shoots or small flowers. In the 1910s, wide strips of fabric embroidered with beads, gold, glass beads, etc., and metal gas dressings became fashionable. The cap was completely out of use - even very elderly ladies were recommended to decorate their heads with eglets, crests "or, finally, with a few studs with diamonds" (The skill to dress well 1914: 84).
False hair was very popular. Here's what the press wrote then: “At present, not a single woman even tries to hide that she wears fake hair, to the extent that they have become a custom. Do not hesitate, the woman shows them and talks about their price. Obviously, we are returning to the fashion, thanks to which in 1873, only in France, 6,000 pounds of fake hair were sold. Braids, bouquets, curls, hairpieces, all sorts of hair products for the forehead, which are worn for a particular hat, everything can be bought now for the most varied price. Moreover, thin hair is much more expensive than thick hair, and long and blond hair are valued more than short and black hair (Umeye is good at dressing 1914: 82).
Fake hair was fastened on the head with scallops, and on top of it, his own hair was laid in the form of a wave.
For this, the strands were wound with forceps resembling a waffle iron. Such forceps consisted of two heated undulating plates, between which a strand was clamped. Often, to add volume and “waves”, additional frameworks were used: wire, cardboard and horn.
Character hairstyles gradually changed. The fashion of antiquity, neoclassicism in art and the Bacchic dances of Isadora Duncan formed a new type of decoration of the head. The hairstyle was no longer high, the hair was often parted in the middle, lowered onto the forehead, covered their ears and twisted in various knots low on the back of the head. She was decorated with various bandages and even fake pearl beads, which became fashionable at that time. It is these “Oriental” hairstyles that adorn the heads of femme fatale — the first stars of silent cinema, art, which was destined to conquer the world in the 20th century. Russian ballets and the main magician of the ballet scene of those years, Lev Bakst, who in 1910 became one of the trendsetters of world fashion, played their part here. His ballets of the Oriental cycle (Scheherazade, Peri, Blue God) unexpectedly brought on hot southern smoke and headbands with long pendants.
The resumption of the ballet "Cleopatra" (first production in 1909) in Paris led to an unexpected passion for colored wigs. The blue wig of the protagonist invented by Bakst immediately became fashionable. In the winter of 1913–1914, after Paris, a wave of balls in colored wigs swept over Petersburg. In Paris, Sonya Delone presented the red and green wigs that complemented her "simultaneous" dresses and costumes. Meanwhile, a native of Lodz, Parisian hairdresser Antoine, in his book Antoine by Antoine, which was released in London in 1946, insisted that it was he who introduced orange, blue, purple, emerald green wigs, and absolutely snow-white wigs.