Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ball Coiffure With Sword

I've been wanting to try this for over a year, and finally had a chance at the Civilian Symposium Ball.

The inspiration is this 1865 image from Peterson's:

Ball Head-Dress Peterson's Magazine August 1865
Peterson's, August 1865
As far as I can tell, that's a waterfall at the back, with a comb at the top, strands of beads looped over the waterfall and the forehead (with a decoration at the front).  Part of the front hair is disposed in a sort of torsade or coronet above the forehead.  There's no description in the magazine, but the "hair-dressing" section of the fashion notes discusses a revived fad for La Chinoise (a braid or row of small curls worn over the forehead), which fits the image.

Instead of duplicating the exact coiffure, I decided to take the waterfall-with-a-sword element and combine it with some earlier 1860s side rolls and a small coronet braid--aiming for a more mid-war look, when the waterfall is first coming in, but the front hair is still dressed at the sides.

I didn't get pictures of each step, but it's basically the waterfall and side rolls already featured; the coronet was made by taking a small section of the back hair (I used part of the lower right-side), braiding it in a basket plait, and laying it over the head, with the tail tucked under the waterfall.  In retrospect, the basket plait is unpopular by the time waterfalls come in, so mixing them wasn't my best idea.  It looked cool, though.  I added some flowers for continuity between my dress and hairstyle (and because ball coiffures in general seem to pile on the accessories).
Left Side of Coiffure

Right Side

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