Filed under: The Fashion Statement
The bouffant, the piled-high hairstyle popularized in the late '50s and early '60s, is back!
Amy Winehouse has been rockin' a beehive for years. But, this year, bouffants kicked into high gear and were seen on the runways of Chanel, Dior, Oscar de la Renta (above) and Vera Wang. On the celeb front Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson and Kate Beckinsale have all given it a whirl.
Bouffant. Pompadour. Whatever you call it, it was born in France, reportedly first introduced by Madame de Pompadour who was a mistress of Louis XV. But the real bouffant as we know it today was created for Marie Antoinette, who apparently wanted to mask her thin hair. Closer to the truth, it was the fashion. And, as we know, Antoinette was not exactly known for her restraint.
According to Daring 'Dos: A History of Extraordinary Hair, by Mary Trasko, both Pompadour and Antoinette wore their hair high on the forehead, either brushed over a pad or "frizzed." Some estimated the towering styles stretched three feet high. Hair was such a production back then, women slept propped up on pillows. Our quips today that animals could live in those things was more than partly right-the pomades back then were made of lard and attracted vermin.
By the '60s, the style had become so commonplace in the West, it spread to American suburbs. Throngs of women made their weekly trips to the hair salon, usually Fridays. Wash. Set. Tease. And use lots of industrial strength hair spray. Teachers complained about girls whose hair was so big that they blocked other students from seeing the blackboard.