Hairstyles and Fashion: A Hairdresser's History of Paris, 1910-1920

By Steven Zdatny | Go to book overview

Introduction*

It would make an interesting and useful assignment to ask students to choose seme object of material culture and to write a brief history of it. Virtually any object would do: beds, clothes, cooking implements, washing facilities, and so on. Each of these would lead inevitably to a broader study of cultural practices: bads, for example, to a history of sleep; clothes to a study of fashicn, gender, industry; etc. Students would of necessity pose fundamental and incisive questions about the past. How did people sleep? On what? With whom and for how long? How did people wash themselves? How often? Did they use soap? Did they wash everywhere or only in certain spots? Did they care about comfort and smell in the way that we do? Did they associate hygiene with health or even virtue? It seems clear that, in wide perspective or narrow, over the long term or the short, such an assignment would focus students on the most fundamental historical matter: what did it mean to be human in the past?

In fact, whatever they ask their students to do, historians have themselves been engaging in exactly this sort of research. Look at the growing historical literature about material culture and cultural history. The past twenty-or-so years have seen the publication of histories of smell, food, books, table manners, fashions, sex and sexuality, cafes, automobiles, and even petkeeping.1 Recently, the production of such inquiries has accelerated, with

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1
Alain Corbin, The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination (Cambridge MY: Harvard U. Press, 1986); Roger Chartier, The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution (Durham NC: Duke U. Press, 1991); Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York: Basic Books, 1984); W. Scott Maine, The World of the Paris Cafe: Sociability Among the French Working Class, 17891914 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U. Press, 1996; Kathleen Kete, The Beast in the Boudoir: Petkeeping in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1994); Claudine Marenco, Manieres de table, modeles de moeurs, 17eme–20eme siecle (Paris:Editions de l'ENSCachan, 1992); Michael B. Miller, The Bon Marche: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869–1920 (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 1981); Philippe Perrot, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie: A History of Clothing in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton U. Press,1994); Kristin Ross, Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (Carrbridge MA: MIT Press, 1995); Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants (New York: Vintage, 1992); Rosalind Williams, Dream Worlds: Mass consurrption in Late Nineteenth—Century France (Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1982). For the book that in many ways opened up this area of inguiry, see Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process, Vol. I: The History of Manners (New York: Pantheon, 1978).
*
Throughout, I have tried to stay as close to Long's text as I could. Wiile I have corrected sorre of the inconsistencies in his usage, I have left others as they were, and I have retained almost all of the original spelling.

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Hairstyles and Fashion: A Hairdresser's History of Paris, 1910-1920
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - 1910 35
  • 2 - 1911 54
  • 3 - 1912 67
  • 4 - 1913 81
  • 5 - 1914 95
  • 6 - 1915 109
  • 7 - 1916 118
  • 8 - 1917 133
  • 9 - 1918 148
  • 10 - 1919 163
  • 11 - 1920 180
  • Index 197
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