Des cheveux et des poils - Exhibition catalog
Under the direction of Denis Bruna, chief curator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, in charge of the pre-1800 fashion and textile collections
Texts by Marie Brimicombe, Denis Bruna, Yanis Cambon, Astrid Castres, Pierre-Jean Desemerie, Ana Escobar Saavedra, Saga Esedín Rojo, Louise Guillot, Guillaume Herrou, César Imbert, Sophie Lemahieu, Maëva Le Petit, Aurore Mariage, Anne-Cécile Moheng, Sophie Motsch, Marie Olivier, Dominique Prevôt, Hélène Renaudin, Raphaël Sagodira and Bastien Salva
Catalog of the exhibition " Des cheveux et des poils " presented at the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris from April 5 to September 17, 2023.
Hairstyles and human hair, like clothing, jewelry and accessories, have been part of the construction of appearances for centuries. On the borderline between fashion and body representation, the subject leaves no one indifferent.
In Western culture, shaggy hair as well as excess hair have often been associated with the devil, the animal and the wild man. So much so that for centuries civilized men and women have had to comb, tame and sometimes even conceal their hair.
Because hair is a body material that can be transformed in a thousand and one ways - stretched, cut, completed, colored, adorned, hidden or exhibited - it is an essential element of the staging of oneself that allows to display the adherence to a fashion, a conviction, a protest and is the bearer of many meanings, such as femininity, virility, negligence, etc.
A few names of famous hairstyles - Fontanges, Titus, garçonne, iroquoise, etc. - reveal that hair is also an essential part of the personality. - reveal that hair is also the object of real fashion phenomena, bearers of social and cultural codes that contemporaries of each era know how to decipher.
From the end of the Middle Ages to the present day, this book deals with several themes inherent to the history of hairstyles (combed, cut and decorated hair; wigs, hairpieces, baldness; coloring), not to mention issues related to facial hair (beardless faces, beards, moustaches, eyebrows) and body hair (torso, legs, pubic area, armpits, depilation). The use of hair to make jewelry, the glory of superstar hairdressers or the use of hair in high fashion are other themes that will offer the reader many surprises.