May 18, 2009

Regency Demi-Turban

Here is one of those Regency styles that was definitely borrowed from the Orient. It is the demi-turban, which is basically a swatch of cloth wrapped around the head and tied in place. It works best with a high bun.

Unlike the turban, which covers the whole head, the demi-turban leaves the top of the head uncovered so a mass of curls or an intricately twisted bun can peep through. It was more popular among young women, and the turban was more popular among older women.

Here is my demi-turban (I could have embellished it with feathers and beads but was in a hurry) and a demi-turban from a ~1800 magazine picture. You can see the lady's bun through the swirls of fabric on top.

May 3, 2009

A La Greque: "Marianne Dashwood"

This is the favorite style of Marianne Dashwood and works great for people who have naturally curly hair and don't have to curl it. You can make A La Greque in many ways, but the signature of this style is the band around the head and bun. Any coiffure with this Greek style band is A La Greque, and you can embellish with jewels, flowers, or a gold brocade band.

With this style, you definitely need the front curls around the forehead and ears. If you have curly hair, you can get away with a much less structured bun in the back and let the curles fall out all over the place.

Always make sure your hair is clean for this style, because clean hair has more body and poof.

Here, too is a picture of Marianne Dashwood with A La Greque.

Here are some directions:

~curl your hair (if you only want to leave a few curls out as i did, don't curl all your hair)

~put it is a loose ponytail and then make a very loose bun, only twisting the curled hair into the bun a little bit so it hangs free (if you have naturally curled hair, you can skip the bun and just pin it in a messy mass to the back of your head)

~take a long ribbon or piece of cloth and wrap it around your head as follows : starting under the bun with equal lengths on either side, cross over the bun to bottom again, then bring over head and back down to bun where you can pin it or tie it in a bow. Be sure to pin the part on your head in place.

~now curl any bangs or whispies by your ears or at the base of your neck.

C'est fini!

Late Regency/Early Victorian style: "Little Dorritt"

This is an exquisitely simple do that works for all types of hair. It is so elegant and delicate. This style was worn in both the Regency and early Victorian eras, and then again in the very late Victorian era. You can use any type of hair comb in it. I used an oriental comb, but a silver one would be more period.

~make a center part and separate the front hair around the face from the rest of the hair
~put the rest of the hair in a pony tail and twist it into a bun
~take the front hair you separated and wrap it around under the bun and around the bun
~pin in place and add a hair comb or flower
~if you have short hairs by your ears, make sure they hang down in front of the ears.

Simplicity itself!

Note: This is definitely not a ballroom style. It is for home and everyday wear.

May 1, 2009

Wealthy Victorian Style: "Blanche Ingram"

Here is a style straight out of a Jane Eyre movie. It is the kind of do' worn by Miss Ingram, the inimitable snob. It takes quite a while to make, but is perfect for a Victorian garden party, etc...

~make a high ponytail and leave out a section of hair at the base of the neck to curl
~separate 4 strands of hair from the ponytail
~braid two strands and leave the others to curl
~make the bun and loop the braids so their ends can be tucked into the bun
~now take the 2 sections saved for curling (preferably one on each side of the bun) and curl them
~curl the hair you left out at the base of your neck
~and tie a ribbon around the bun to hide stray hairs.

The curl at the base of the neck is optional, and looks better if you have longer hair to curl

If you have little short hairs by your ears, you can curl them as I did and stick them to your cheeks with hair spray (the Victorians would probably have used grease).