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

By Steven Zdatny | Go to book overview

4
1913

January 1913: A Suggestion in Postiche from Paris

A renowned lady professor of music has just given in Paris her Grand Annual Soiree. In the programme, which was freely distributed, and even sent to hairdressers, there were the following items: Concert, musical interlude, ancient dances, and a public hairdressing competition; not one of those competitions at which the dressing is done in the hall, but a competition in the choice of coiffures recognised as the most attractive by a Cotmittee of fashionable ladies and actresses.

Whilst the comedy was being played on the stage another little comedy was being very discreetly enacted in the hall. I was one of several coiffeurs there; each one of us had brought models with the secret hope of obtaining a prize. Man has his weaknesses, and the hairdresser is no exception to this law of nature. Every time that we met during the intervals we exchanged handshakes, each averring that he was there ‘by the merest chance.’ But as scon as we were dispersed in the hall one regarded the other with furtive and curious looks. Nobody knows how this famous competition of hairdressing was originated–a competition of which each of us was thinking, but of which none spoke. For my part, I was thinking that the Committee would show themselves at the end of the piece, but up to the moment of the departure the Cortmittee were not to be seen.

I began to think that this portion of the programme had been suppressed, by virtue of a clause printed at the bottom to the effect that ‘the Management reserves the right of making alterations in the programme.’

Not at all; having passed the first door we found in the vestibule a few ladies who were kindly handing my model an envelope, and passing many complimsnts on her headdress. Cf course, this coiffure was obtained entirely with postiche. The envelope in question mentioned: Tirst Prize for Hairdressing, ‘ and contained a collection of picture postcards, as well a advertising matter from the donor. Vfe left immediately, feeling rather confused, and I am unaware if my colleagues received prizes. I presume they did, firstly because their coiffures were very nice, and also because I learnt afterwards

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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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