Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Higher the hair the closer to God!


Bonjour Friends! I had so much fun looking over these romantically high coiffures! I can't believe the intricacy and artistry put into these styles. I wonder how long it took to finish getting dressed in the morning?

Lucille Ball in Du Barry was a Lady

Leonard was the most celebrated hairdresser in the court of Louis XVI. He invented elaborate ways to wear ones hair & his popularity lasted for more than 10 years! Some styles to his credit are the coiffure a la Dauphine, the coiffure a la monte au ciel, the loge d'opera which made the wearer 72 inches from chin to top of hair! Mon Dieu! Also, the coiffure a la queasco, which is one of my favorites, it is the one where the hair is piled high and 3 plumes a added to the back, he is also responsible for the pouf & the sentimental pouf which one would add adornments that reflected a loved one or something near to ones heart. I love it!


In her memoirs Madame de Campan states that "the Queen had hitherto displayed great simplicity in her toilette, but her tastes became more expensive after her husband's accession, and as she was copied by the ladies of the Court many of them exceeded their means so much that their husbands began to complain. The King disapproved this excessive luxury of dress, but he did nothing to check it. It may be said that the most insignificant events during his reign were seized upon as pretexts for bringing in some new fashions which, whenever they were patronized by the Queen, obtained universal vogue. She was very fond of plumes, and the mania for them was carried to such a point that their price increased ten-fold, and the choicest had been known to fetch as much as fifty louis".

Source unknown

Soularie states in his Historical Memoirs of the Reign of Louis XVI, "When the Queen passed along the gallery at Versailles, you could see nothing but a forest of feathers, rising a foot-and-a-half above the head, and nodding to and fro. The Princesses, aunts of Louis XVI., who could not make up their minds to adopt these new fashions and copy the Queen every day, called these feathers a horse-trapping." Nobody had so high a head-dress as the Queen!


These coiffures got so out of hand that women were banned from the theatre if their was too high as to obstruct the view of other patrons and many hairstyles were so high that a lady would have to kneel in her coach or sudan in order to fit! I am a fan of these over the top, ornate, and ostentatious coiffures! Who would not love to adorn their hair with pearls, diamonds, fruit, branches, flowers, cupids, initials, butterflies, birds, ships, vegetables, nests, cages, ribbons, ells of silks & fabric, powder, false curls, lace, & my favorite feathers? Hmmm...how should I do my hair tomorrow? This sure beats my "Mom hair"!

An interesting note: when I last went to Versailles we took a special tour that allowed us in to see Marie Antoinettes powder room, which in actuality was a powder room in the true sense of the word! she would go there to actually get her hair powdered and this was the only use for this room...genius! We also saw Louis' wig room where all of his wigs used to be housed. Fascinating!

C'était une coiffure dans laquelle on introduisait les personnes ou les choses q'on préférait. Ainsi les portraits des ses enfants, de ses amis, l'image de son chien, de son serin, tout cela garni des cheveux de son père ou d'un amant de cœur.
Mme de Oberkirch about the French 1770s hairstyle "pouf à sentiment"

~It was a hairstyle into which one introduced persons or things one liked, such as portraits of one's children or friends, the picture of one's dog, of one's bird, all framed with one's father's or lover's hair.~

Bisou Mon Amis!

PS I ran across an article that described the invention of a color called cheveux de la Reine...does anybody know what that color might look like?
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  1. Hi, I became curious so I did a Google search and found this:
    "The most Fashionable Colour in Hair is that called cheveux de la Reine, a certain shade of ash blonde with a reflection of pale gold, and it is to be obtained by a few applications of “LAUGIER'S EAU ROMAINE D'OR.”"
    -and this:
    "the shimmering, pale-gold shade that the Lyon silk manufacturers had dyed to match a lock of the royal consort's hair"
    So blondes had more fun back then as well, it seems.

  2. Fabulous post! So insightful, historical, beautiful and interesting! I LOVED it!
    I looked briefly on wikipedia but didn't find much. Maybe you could write the author or newpaper you found the article in...?
    Bonne journee!

  3. Hi Judith, I gave you an award, pop over and check it out! Bisous

  4. Oh what a marvelous post Judith! I would love to have enormous great big hair some day but I don't even have enough hair to make a few of those curls. Thank heavens for wigs! I love the idea of putting all sorts of fancy decoration into the hair in those days. I imagine the women spent hours "getting ready". It amazes me that women ever had time to accomplish anything. The rich spent all their time being beautiful and the poor all their time cleaning and dealing with babies. How far we've come! Or have we...?

    ; )

    A great, fun post!

  5. I love that expression! But I always say... the bigger the hair the closer to God! FUN!
    Thank goodness these styles are not in fashion... I would have an awful headache I'm sure!

  6. I just discovered your blog and I love it! This is a beautiful post. I've performed Baroque dance and loved wearing my white wig and panniers! I'm compiling my blog roll and would love to include you.
    Will stop by again, for sure!

    Catherine Andrako

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