One of the most famous and persistent images of the eighteenth century is a woman with an enormous tall wig decorated with ribbons, feathers, and all manner of figurines. Known as the pouf, this tall hairstyle is often cited as a visual representation of the excess of the 18th century. But these tall hairstyles were not just an example of extreme elite fashion. Often times these hairstyles were an expression of patriotism, politics, and the latest trends in culture. Today we may express our personalities and taste by wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of our favorite band, sports team, or the flag of our country. In the late 18th century, aristocratic women did the same thing using their hair.
|Anonymous, Coëffure à l’Indépendance ou le Triomphe de la liberté, c. 1778. In the collection of the Musée franco-américain du château de Blérancourt.|
, by Katy Werlin