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Queen Elizabeth and the Marcel Wave?


Bernard C:
This is all about fashionable hair styles.

This is the centre of a Bagley 3016 Royal Visit souvenir ashtray, dated, as you will see, October 21, 1937.   The Queen is wearing her hair in a style known as a Marcel Wave.

After an internet search, I established that the hair style was named after Marcel Grateau, who introduced it in his Montmartre salon in 1872, and executed it by the simple technique of reversing his curling tongs and using the handles.   The style rapidly gained popularity in Paris and further afield, and was much imitated.

Then I found a gap of more than six decades.   Then references to Queen Elizabeth popularising the style after her accession on December 10, 1936, and particularly after the Coronation on May 12th, 1937.

So, what happened in between?    65 years is rather a long time for a fashion to remain popular.   Or did it disappear and then gain a revival?   If so, how and why?

Bernard C.  8)

Anne E.B.:
Perhaps its never really been away Bernard.  Mae West and Joan Crawford helped popularise hairstyles created by the Marcel Wave, or as I discovered, also referred to as "finger wave."  I remember Twiggy in the sixties having a similar almost androgenous hairstyle, and later in the 80s it seems to have been popular once more.  Looking on the web it seems that there are loads of hairstylists advertising the Marcel Wave and the "retro look."  I guess it only takes one iconic celeb. to start the fashion craze off again.  Fashion is a fickle business :lol:

You've put me in the right frame of mood for having a 'fourpenny all-off' - just off to the hairdressers :wink:

Bernard C:
Anne — Thanks, I think you are right.   Janet has just pointed out to me that virtually all the Deco posters, books, statuettes, &c., featuring stylish ladies show them wearing a similar hairstyle.    And I love "iconic celeb" — just the expression I would have used if I had thought of it first.

And I had all, well most of mine off a few weeks ago.   Lovely in this humid heat, but I look as if I've had an accident with the lawnmower!

Bernard C.  8)


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