Along with gorgeous fashion spreads, my August 1916 edition of The Designer magazine includes a fantastic assortment of advertisements illustration how people lived (or aspired to live) and what they bought (or aspired to buy) in the 1910s.
Generally the food-related advertisements are more practical, and less aspirational, and the fashion & beauty related advertisements are very aspirational indeed. They show what to wear to balls, and at the best resorts, and on ocean liners, while linking them back to everyday products.
One of my favourite of the beauty ads is this one for The Hump Hairpin which “locks the locks”, featuring hairstyles purportedly designed by 7 of the leading hairstylists of the day. Each hairstyle, of course, is held in place with Hump Hairpins.
The hairstyles are a wonderful glimpse into the changing coiffures of the mid 1910s. The move from low hairstyles, that sit on the nape of the neck, to high ones, with the volume concentrated at the top of the crown, is obvious. So too is the growing fashion for very defined curls and extremely sculpted ripples. Both owe their popularity to improvements in curling irons and hair setting lotions. The irons including the precursor to the one that made the famous ‘Marcel Wave’ of the ’20s. Marcelling tools were popularised and vastly improved during the 1910s. The electronic version of the Marcel waving iron was patented in 1918.
It’s interesting to decipher the names of the hairdressers. I can read: Lehmert & Huth; Benjamin Alexander; Williams; P Rosseau Lay; and Simon. Sadly my two favourite hairstyles: the ladies on the left and the right, second row down, are the ones I can’t quite make out!
It’s also interesting to compare the fabulous hairstyles of the fashionable hairstylists to the marketing of the hairpin. ‘The Hump Hairpin Locks the Locks’ goes on to describe all the things you can do without your hairpins falling out, or your hair growing dishevelled – clearly a problem that many women faced!
We sometimes think of women of the past looking like they stepped out of a bandbox, but with fine slippery hair, holding a fashionably loose hairstyle in place would have been tricky (even in the days when weekly shampooing was more the norm).
I’d really like to get a reproduction of these hairpins to see if they actually work! And a reproduction of each of these hairstyles….
What do you think? Would they hairpins work, or was it all marketing & hot air? And which is your favourite hairstyle?