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More so than the mulleted glam rockers of the 1980s or the beehive-wearing divas of the ’60s, 18th-century Europeans were the queens of Big Hair. It’s rare that a contemporary hairdresser gets to create something as elaborate as the sky-high sculptural wigs worn by Marie Antoinette and friends.
But now, with the Victoria & Albert Museum’s fantastic new “Design a Wig” game, we can all create masterpieces of 18th-century hair art. Instead of playing post-holiday email catchup, we recommend spending hours virtually creating Marie Antoinette–style hairdos.
The virtual wig design tool, inspired by the V&A’s extensive decorative arts collection, starts with an illustrated model with a short blond hairdo that resembles Donald Trump’s combover on a windy day. When you drag your mouse-comb over her head, clouds of poofy blond curls appear. After powdering and decorating your wig with bows, blossoms, feathers, sailboats, sail, flags, etc., you can show off your creation on social media, as Marie Antoinette surely would have were she alive today.
Obviously, it’s a lot easier making these wigs online than it was in real life 250 years ago. As the V&A’s site explains, hair was built up into wild confections with padding and hairpieces made from both human and horse manes, all stuck together with gooey paste made from pig fat. These unsightly parts were concealed by variously colored scented powders made from flour, which were blown on with bellows or applied with big puffs. As protection from powder clouds, the woman wore a big cone over her face. Women often spent all day with their hairdressers creating these ridiculous styles.
As evidenced below, I’ve had an extremely productive day designing extremely beautiful wigs.
Go design a wig here.
Poussin and the Dance is a valiant attempt to break into Poussin’s staunchly academic oeuvre and provide a relatable point of entry, highlighting the exciting elements of revelry and movement despite impenetrable and unemotional rendering.
Anarchist illustrator N.O. Bonzo produces decentralized media in a highly bureaucratic cultural landscape. Their illustrations, murals, and literature emerge in unexpected places, from the streets of Portland, Oregon, to the far ends of Reddit and Twitter, addressing relations of labor and identity in the workplace and on the streets. Growth and care are central themes…
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
With scavenged materials, Amanda Maciel Antunes constructs a motherland.
Where are the directors taking the stage to acknowledge workers’ demands today?
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
There is a debate whether the memory of Little Syria should be seized upon to tell truthful and positive stories about Arabs in the US, or whether any conflation between its history and contemporary politics is inappropriate.
The profile includes works by Egon Schiele, Amedeo Modigliani, Peter Paul Rubens, and a prehistoric Venus of Willendorf figurine.
These horrifying dolls definitely won’t murder you in your sleep.