I Love Big Hair

I have rather flat hair that sits uneventfully atop a pea sized head.  Therefore, I am an enthusiastic advocate for big hair.  Anthropologie’s August catalog incorporates some 19th century hair throwbacks.  Witness the following:

from Anthropologie's August 2011 catalog

And now this:

Elizabeth McGovern from House of Mirth

By the way, I love Elizabeth McGovern.  I’ve only seen her in Downton Abbey, a Poirot episode, and that movie, She’s Having Kevin Bacon’s Baby.  But I loved her in all of them!  The hair though? I am a little ambivalent towards this late 19th/early 20th century ‘do.  Yes, it is big which checks one of my boxes, but piled on top of the head.  Where is it fastened?  How long is it, really?

Anthropologie’s take on it is lovely though.  They tend to choose interesting models and this works for her and for the spread.  It flatters the bold necklines and statement jewelry pieces dotted throughout.  Altogether, I give it a thumbs up on the styling.


2 responses to “I Love Big Hair

  1. I studied the “Gibson girl” hair that McGovern is rocking in this photo for a kind of theater project. Just in the interest of answering your questions about the mysteries behind the do– here’s what I know.
    First of all, the hair had to actually be considerably long. Because, it had to go up and over this thing called a “rat” [obviously not the rodent kind]. It was a thick 2″- 3″ ring that sat low around the head. It served as a kind of filler to make the hair puff all the way around the head in just the right way (like the BumpIt!). The hair was brushed evenly so that there was no part and it could be swept up and over the rat and piled in a loose bun at the top of the head.
    So although it was somewhat of a process (and i have curly hair which didn’t help), I actually kind of liked when I had to have my hair like this for performances. But, I haven’t had enough guts/creativity to figure out how to adapt it to real life yet. =)

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