The Perfect Peruke
On damesnet’s pages, while we don’t exactly have a fashion section we do celebrate items of sartorial interest, which can be mainstream or eclectic.
We’ve looked at cardis, ¾ length trousers for men, cord jackets, formal wear versus informal, men in shorts, charity shop clothing and online clothes shopping as opposed to store browsing. Then there is my recent review of the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A, a glorious display of creativity and taboo busting, which is running until next February.
Well I’ve just discovered – which means that everyone else already knows about it – that wigs are the next big fashion statement. If you’re not in a wig, you’re nobody, baby. Stars of the catwalk, stage, screen and paparazzi have got into this in a big way. Instagram and Youtube are full of images of how you can be seen at your best in your wig. If you happen to be Paris Hilton you have a choice of some 800 wigs to tempt your fancy as you leap out of bed each day.
The first wig I came across in real life was anything but a fashion statement. My grandfather suffered from alopecia, and as a young child I remember him always wearing a hat indoors. No one else did, of course, and when I got to an age when I could be expected to understand this phenomenon, all was explained to me. I did then spend several anxious days wondering if my Barnet was going to follow suit, but after much tugging at my locks felt reassured that they weren’t going anywhere.
You can imagine my confusion when, shortly after the truth had been revealed, my grandfather arrived at a family gathering with a full head of hair. I kept myself under strict control during the party, but as soon as the front door closed behind him I demanded an explanation. I was told that he had acquired a wig, and this was how he now looked. Sadly, the experiment was short lived. The headpiece was kept in situ with an adhesive to which he developed a strong allergic reaction. After a few months he was back to the hat.
Two friends of mine have worn wigs for a short time following spells of chemotherapy; they both opted for something as close to the original as possible. Well now it’s quite different; wigs are there for the asking – well, you do have to pay for them, but they are now just another way of changing your look.
I have no immediate plans to follow suit; instead I have been looking back at some wonderful images of people in wigs that have nothing to do with cancer treatment or style slavery. I refer, of course to the pantomime dame. How could s/he possibly take to the boards without a wig? There are some choice examples in my blog ‘Oh yes she is!’.
Another all-time favourite is the film Some Like it Hot. However many times I see it, I am always reduced to helpless giggles, and of course, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon look brilliant in their wigs.
And on the subject of fashion, if you are anywhere near the V&A this summer – and of course we hope you will be to celebrate damesnet’s birthday on August 8, why not turn up a bit earlier and visit the amazing Christian Dior exhibition? No wigs, but some super hats.