Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Wig Out: A Brief History of the Original Metal Heads

In light of reading of how some vintage loving gals have found themselves feeling offended by people asking them if their hair is really a wig, I just had to share this vintage item spotted at Past Perfect Vintage: what we have here in the first image below is a 1920s deco flapper wig made out of gold bullion!!! How fascinating! Price-wise, it's literally worth it's weight in gold. Just think, in the 20s, it was a fashion statement to have wig-hair!

1920sgoldbullionwig


A brief amount of research led me to find that, in fact, women of the 1920s and 30s could buy wigs that had perfect marcel waves and pin curls already in place (first image, from artdecoblog, shows an ad for wigs; second image, from Shorpy, shows front window of the famous Marcel of Paris salon in Washington. Not only do the mannequins appear to be wearing wigs, but the front shop window advertises imported hair).

1930swigs





Finding out about the wigs (which were assuredly not just for women with issues to do with balding or hair loss) made me feel a bit less pressure over my inability to perfect my vintage hairdo...It gave me hope that maybe a few vintage women were like me, in terms of finding it tricky to get the perfect hair I see in vintage images and certainly finding it somewhat unfeasible to devote the time needed to attempt to have such a coiffure as an everyday hairdo. But, maybe I'm just one of those lazy, unkempt types and I should just invest in one of these babies if I ever want to have perfect hair ;) Anyway, back to the gold wig itself: there is something really fun and creative about the idea of gold hair but this MUST be a heavy and hot piece to wear. If I were going to do such a fantastical metallic hairstyle, I'd opt for a treatment done on my own hair, like the woman in the third image, Mme Bonnardel, who had her hair lacquered silver white and styled by Antoine (image courtesy of Conde Naste). For now, I stick with my natural hairdo.

CN00002124

12 comments:

Francy said...

I agree that this is reassuring! I love Marcel waves, but for some reason can not easily master them with my hair. Glad to know some of the REAL flappers must have felt the same.

1930s Girls About Town said...

The metal wigs are facinating to me for some reason. Sydney Flapper (http://sydneyflapper.livejournal.com/ did a post on hers) recently. They're so odd, but interesting.

Miss Matilda said...

I like the little pieces that they have in the ad, i'm an advocate of hair pieces for ladies, also love watching 20's , 30's dramas for that particular reason.

This blog also made me giggle as you send me vintage curling irons as a gift, maybe a wig would be easier, they are so tiny and cute those wave makers are they not?

Stefanie Valentine said...

That wig is fascinating, and must get so heavy! I read that in promo shots for movies they used wigs/hairpieces to accentuate the hair, and sometimes they just concentrated on the front and sides so if you peeked at the back it would be a straggly mess! xx

Kelley Anne said...

That's so interesting. It makes sense, but I'd never realized. I clicked on the Marcel of Paris storefront window to check it out...those mannequins are so lifelike, I love the expressions on their faces.

Gold said...

Such a nice hairstyle.

Regards,
Gold Bullion

Andi B. Goode said...

Wow. Crazy. I'm a bit stunned. Haha.
-Andi x

Bug said...

This is so interesting. I have always wanted to create hairstyles like that, but found them to be too hard. Just to think ladies wore those with pride. Haha, I was watching Dick Van Dyke today and Laura (the wife) got really mad when her neighbor told her someone thought she wore a wig!

Sorry about getting back to you so late on this - but I really enjoyed your clothing history and facts. Thanks for the comments :)

inbugsdrawers.blogspot.com

Alena said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Altissima said...

The previous comment by "Alena" appears to be a spam comment. You may want to delete it. (My browsing security software is marking both links as "potentially insecure". )
By the way: facinating post! I've never heard of metalic wigs. I imagine they would be quite uncomfortable -would have to be heavy and also may be problematic if they got snagged on fine clothing (scarves etc) or jewellery.

BaronessVonVintage said...

Thanks, Altissima....

One never knows what one is going to come across in the wonderful world of vintage fashion. Those flappers sure knew how to go glitzy!

Annie said...

Whenever I feel not up to snuff in my vintage hairstyles I remember to look at vintage photos of women from real life.just like today, models and actresses had time, money, and assistance to look fabulous. Real life women generally had stouter figures, lower heels on their shoes and simpler hair.