French Big Wigs
If there is one hairstyle I could choose to define Frenchness, it would be the Rococo baroque wigs and elaborate hair-do’s that radiate Versailles in all it’s hedonistic, aristocratic and slightly-mad glory. The majestic coiffures of tragic Queen Marie Antoinette, or the lovely Madame de Pompadour, display the definitive Rococo style, towering above a lovely face, bedecked with ribbons, butterflies and any folly or fancy that comes to mind.
Such is the over-the-top elegance and savoir-faire that the style engenders, that it has made a comeback, if not in everyday life then in the world of high fashion and fancy dress. I had always been attracted to this style however as a woman of colour I did wonder if I could pull it off, (no pun intended). Unfortunately for me, at the time of this historical era, the majority of black women were generally in the dreadful bondage of Slavery. Nevertheless fashion is and always has been fashion and I dont think it would be a historically inaccurate faux pas.
Higher and Higher
I had the unexpected opportunity of indulging in my ‘Dangerous Liasons’ style fantasies when approached to play and sing for an event in a beautiful world famous deluxe Parisian hotel. Styled, dressed and coiffured by professionals, my hair was teased up into a candy-floss peak of rococo joy. It certainly made me feel pre-revolutionary. Of course this was my real hair not a powdered dome with mice running through it, but still. Rococo bouffant
Although the hairdresser was rightly pleased with his efforts, my only regret was that he had not gone far enough. I was all for adding little sailing ships, buttons and bows. Playing dress-up in concerts is theatrical and adds to the performance deepening the experience for the audience. Rococo hair at home
Its hard to define precisely what our fascination is with the look of the 18th century. Is it the elegance, the mystery of a decadent world that is close and alien at the same time, or perhaps the freedom of expression and fantasy. The rococo age brought a kicking over of the stagnation and restrictions as the world tipped over into the Age of the Enlightenment. The sheer peacock flamboyance of the dress of both the male and female compared to a modern world of frankly boring dull suits in funereal colours complete with utilitarian hairstyles is striking.Modern rococo
For those who want to try this look for themselves there are many ‘how to’ videos on YouTube and I provide some links below that I found.
Aileen Estrada’s Marie Antoinette Rococo Make-Up Tutorial
Yuseff Smith’s Marie Antoinette Make-Up and Hair