Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Georgian Hairstyles pre-Regency era.

Hairstyles of the Georgian period! 

This article attempts to address the balance of hairstyles and fashion, because far too many readers and literary critics (who deem sense of expertise in matters of Georgian England) often seem to forget the greater part of the Georgian Period occurred within the 1700s - being that of  the 18th Century. Hence modicum of confusion arises with the coming of the Regency Era of the 1800s, being that of the 19th Century in matters of fashion, which includes hairstyles.

In this picture are examples of Georgian hair styling.
The first image represents back-combed hair with short ringlets and powered for fashionable effect.
The second image is a young lady with natural hair in a pretty and becoming style, and this style remained popular for unmarried ladies until the coming of the Greek revivalist movement during the Regency era, when men went for the Corinthian, the Adonis, and other fashionable bent, whilst women went for short curls framing the face, top-knots and dangling ringlets.  
The third picture is a strawberry-roan wig, no doubt similar in colour to the ladies natural hair colour, also lightly powdered.    

To take stock of the early/mid part of the Georgian Period of England, it helps to remember Marie Antoinette was Queen of France, wife of Louis XVI at that time.

Marie Antoinette.

She was renowned for her outrageous wigs, but not all women during the Georgian period wore wigs, though some did, as did the Duchess of Devonshire when married, but when young she merely lightly powdered her hair and had it styled to the fashion of one long coil of hair over her shoulder similar the middle image top of page. 

Duchess of Devonshire

Other ladies of note, namely Lady Sheffield,  wore long style wigs.

Whilst Mary Hamilton had her own hair styled and powdered.

The following images are of TV/Movie productions, almost all with relevant hairstyles for the Georgian period - and pretty obvious which of these are wigs. Note the hairstyle bottom left corner which is totally wrong for Georgian period, not even early Victorian and is late Victorian /Edwardian. 

Just prior to the Regency era, hairstyles were softer, wigs were worn far less by women who had lovely hair, though married women often still powdered their hair. And by now waistlines had crept upward, the A-line/French Empire line taking precedence. 

By the Regency Era young girls were still given to wearing hair in loose coils (down) for informal dress, and up for formal occasions. Married ladies and mistresses always wore it up!

In the year George, Prince of Wales, took office as the Prince Regent, the year of 1811, he assumed the working role of head of State in his father's stead. George III was sadly diagnosed as mentally incapable, thus the Prince of Wales, now Prince Regent had no idea when his father the king would die nor how long before he would become the monarch. 
In 1820 The Regent became King. 
The Regency era was at end, a mere 9 yrs in tenure, but Regency fashion and hairstyles continued until William IV became King on George IV's demise in 1830, merely ten years after the Regent became King. 

During the reign of William IV ladies waistlines dropped, hairstyles went to buns and bunches, and silly side curls come the death of William in 1837, thus Princess Victoria became Queen.  

Young Victoria!