Coiffures, Poufs, Hats and Bonnets: Two Coiffures by the Hairdresser Depain

  • Year: 1790
  • Location: Netherlands

Ladies’ hairstyles were ingenious works of art, built around a core of cushions and horsehair. Hair was piled high in curls and twists (chignons) and adorned with feathers, ribbons, artificial flowers, tulle and jewels to create various fancifully named poufs. Because the hair was dressed using animal fat and powdered with wheat flour, these poufs attracted all manner of insects. Far from hygienic, they moreover did not last long. When they went out, ladies protected their hairdos with a voluminous ribbed hood called a calèche 1. Hairdressers of the time, who styled themselves as artists, used prints to advertise their latest creations and craftsmanship 2 3.

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