Apr 14, 2014

The Laquered Look

The socialite, heiress to the Singer (sewing machine) fortune, and editor of Harper's Bazaar Paris, Mrs Reginald (Daisy) Fellowes was a noted fashionable figure frequently found in the pages of Vogue magazine. One of their fashion editors, Bettina Ballard, called her “the most elegant and most talked-about woman in Paris.” She was the embodiment of '30s chic but also bold in her tastes and her attitude, daring to pull off even the most extreme surrealist fashion statements by designer Elsa Schiaparelli. (Think monkey fur, lobster dress, and shoe hat - even Schiap's Shocking Pink was created for her!)

In this 1935 photograph taken by Horst P. Horst for Vogue (who often used Tungsten lighting to heighten an image's dramatic contrast and shadowy quality), Daisy dons a satin Mandarin dress by Schiap and an eerie and fantastic lacquered wig by Antoine de Paris.

Born Antoni Cierplikowski (1884-1976) in Poland, Antoine moved to Paris and became the celebrity hair stylist of the 1920s and '30s. His clients included Josephine Baker, Claudette Colbert, Marlena Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Elsa Schiaparelli. He eventuality set up 67 salons in places as far afield as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, London, and Melbourne.

Josephine Baker in a wig by Antoine de Paris.
Photo by: George Hoyningen-Huene, 1934, Vogue.

He is credited with trends such as the bob, tinting grey hair blue, and the white/blonde streaked forelock, but what I find most intriguing are these shellacked wigs worn as hats. 1. Just wow! It's easy to see why Antoine became a "favorite of the Surrealists -- Man Ray, Salvador Dali & Cocteau in particular -- and his work certainly complemented the oneiric fillip the Surrealists managed to inveigle into every early 20th Century art-form & medium." 2.

Clockwise from top left: Wig by Antoine of Paris, 1937. Photo by Brassaï / Cécile Sorel's wig for a performance by the
Photo by Brassai / Françoise Rosay, 1932. /  Photo of
Arletty by Madame D'Ora (Dora Kallmus), 1932.

Man Ray took this photograph of Elsa wearing a lacquered Antoine wig around 1933.
"Antoine made me some fabulous wigs for evening and even pour le sport. I wore them in white, in silver, in red for the snow of St. Moritz, and would feel utterly unconscious of the stir they created. Antoine was…certainly the most progressive and the most enterprising coiffeur of these times. I wore these wigs with the plainest of dresses so that they became a part of the dress and not an oddity." 3.  ~ Elsa Schiaparelli

Wigs by Antoine from 1932. "Spinelly" style on the right

Wig by Antoine de Paris / coat by Sarah Lipska / photo by Paweł Kurzawski

1. Mary Louise Roberts, "Samson and Delilah Revisited: The Politics of Women's Fashion in 1920s France," The American Historical Review, Vol. 98, No. 3 (Jun., 1993), pp. 657-684.
2. deep space daguerreotype
3. Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda, Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012, page 50.

No comments: