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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Sophistique Noir's Monthly Theme: Early blunderings through vintage hair

A.k.a Fiona's collection of extremely vain selfies

So - my first time participating in Sophistique Noir's monthly theme post, and my blog deletes half the post after I write it. Nonetheless, I shall persevere.

I should hate vintage hair. And I do - it's designed for a time when women were not eighteen year old medical students who are already running late to lectures without trying to learn how to put in a faux fringe. I am not skilled in the dark arts of coiffure; it's a fuss, difficult to get perfect, and a nightmare with layers.

But love it I do. I think everyone has cast an envious glance to the vintage crowd at some point in our lives. Whilst we're well used to painting perfect eyeliner flicks, for many in the alternative fashion community (traditionally famed for it's attempts to make hair look more like bird's nests than actual birds nests), the perfect coif is not something that necessarily comes naturally.

It was really only on coming to Uni that I began doing stupid things to my hair, armed with bobby pins, freeze hold hairspray and stubborn determination. YouTube was a great help, and
I teased and sprayed and stuck rats in, ending up with a fairly shoddy set of victory curls. I suppose we all have to start somewhere.

Eyebrow shaping was also I skill I would go on to develop.
Victory rolls are the most famous vintage style - from the forties, they were supposedly named for the manouvres performed by WWII planes, and were worn as a practical up do for working during the war. Worn up, down, high, low, with hairnets or curls - there's hundreds of variations. As with a lot of vintage styles I found it very difficult with layers, but if you're struggling they're much easier to do with furious teasing and hair rats. This site has some excellent photos of the trend done properly.

Next attempt bandana and pin curl - I don't have a photo of me doing it, so this blurry one where I'm wearing a pseudo curl will have to do. Although not worn in the poster, it's best known as a result of the 'Rosie the Riveter' poster produced by the American War Production Coordinating Committee (a copy of which is hanging on my door). I like this one because it's easier for everyday wear than victory rolls, and awesome for bad hair days.

Bathroom shot! (The best light is in there. I shall not be judged.)

My most recent attempt is my favourite right now - faux bangs! Designed to mimic the curled fringe of Bettie Page, these aren't something I've had a lot of practice at (as you can see from the horribly squint placement of the attempt pictured), but I love them too much to care. These too can be changed in styling and placement; Dita Von Teese, queen of vintage hair, wears them up high and glamorous here.

The added bonus of this style is that I get an awesome curly fringe afterwards.

While the above styles have been mostly forties in origin or inspiration, I do also love the loose curls of the fifties, and have attempted this now. I have no photos to show for it, however, as the first time I didn't bother and the second oh god I never want to see them again how many cocktails did I have so instead I will link you to Dita rocking them for me.
My advice for those wanting to try hair more elaborate than 'I think I brushed it this morning?'* is short and sweet - tutorials, bobby pins, freeze hold hairspray and hair rats. I would also recommend having a basic knowledge of vintage hair; while it's not necessary to match up the decade of your do to the outfit, it's certainly a good thing to know your stuff.

Because I'm a lazy bum who hasn't done her wardrobe feature for this month (or, indeed, last month), I'm going to include it in here! Plus, the tights I'm featuring are moderately vintage inspired -

Yup, I took the last three photos on the same day. I like the dress, okay?

I got these at newlook a couple of years ago, but have struggled to include them in outfits as the blue doesn't really match the rest of my wardrobe. If you have any suggestions, please comment, as I really want to use them!

Tutorials -


*Not that this is me, six days a week. Oh no.