When I saw the images of Dolce & Gabbana's Spring 2014 runway, it was the hair that caught my attention. Loose and messy, piled into braided & coiled up-dos with face-framing fuzz and curls. Decked out with millinery flowers and coins, they were an Edwardian dream magnified into technicolor modernity. I immediately fell in absolute love.
I also couldn't help but be reminded of beautiful images of turn-of-the-century darling Evelyn Nesbit, in all her pre-Raphaelite glory. How can you not be jealous of those curtains of hair, so perfect for twisting and coiling and crowning with flowers?
I do love an Edwardian revival. It's one of my favorite aesthetics from the 1970s & 1980s -- all that Laura Ashley, Gunne Sax, Biba goodness of lace and chintz and tiny floral patterns mixed with velvet and silks. Romantic, messy bouffant hair styles. I am hard-pressed to pass up a Gunne Sax dress or Laura Ashley blouse when out on buying trips -- there was even a junior clothing brand called Young Edwardian (we have one of their dresses in shop now) that was popular during the 1970s.
While researching (trawling Pinterest) images for this post, I stumbled across a lovely contemporary tutorial, complete with photographs, on how to create a hair style from the Edwardian period. It got me thinking - what if beauty tutorial websites (and the internet itself, really) had existed back then? How would this guide be framed? Which led me to waste a bunch of time placing the original Edwardian images into a context mimicking sites like The Beauty Department (which I love!). I think it works rather well.
Like all eras of vintage clothing & style, it's easy to go overboard with the Edwardian look and end up looking like a Downton Abbey extra or Laura Ashley advertisement. Personally, I love mixing soft, romantic bits of Edwardian style with a tougher, punkier look - think lace lingerie inspired pieces with denim or leather, or roughed-up cowboy boots with lace dresses. It's all about balance. That's the great thing about hair -- you could totally do a full on Edwardian inspired hair style and pair it with a range of outfits and styles without it looking costume-y.