14 thoughts on “How Contemporary Hairstyles Affect Historical Costume Movies: The 1960s part 2

  1. The past few days have been pretty rough, on a personal level, but these posts are my happy place. You are doing the Lord’s work, Kendra. If there were a Church of Snark, I’d show up in the front pew every day and twice on Sundays.

    Ok, now off to read the post!

  2. I love these posts.
    “The Leopard” is of course Visconti and Piero Tosi and Tirelli Costumi so it’s accurate city. No wonder the hair is right… even on the background! But still the period it was made in somehow creeps in (makeup? The actors in it). It’s inevitable.
    A project, like say “Singing in the Rain”, would be great fun: designing a period version of a period costume… how they woulda done back then back then… I think would be great fun. And with the film, Walter Plunket’s costumes of the 20s version of 18th century has the added layer of the 50s. Now there are 3 mushed up periods!

  3. Ah, the Leopard . . . Personally I’m not shocked that the hairstyles are accurate, give that this was directed by Luchino Visconti and costumed by Piero Tosi! On IMDb the top hairstyling credit goes to one Amalia Paoletti who doesn’t at a cursory look seem to have specialised in historical styles, but I’m sure Visconti would have told her as soon as she was hired that he wanted authenticity, and if she didn’t already know what 1860s hairstyles looked like she should go and find out toot sweet.

    1. Agreed about “The Leopard,” perhaps my favorite period film ever, apart from “The Earrings of Madame de…” (which really deserves a little love here on FrockFlicks). I can even tolerate Cardinale’s smoky eyes. But I must mention a hair discovery I made earlier this year: Peter O’Toole was not blond; he was dark-haired or close to it. Which is fine, but startling nonetheless, especially after that tousled yellow mop in “Lawrence.”

      1. I love The Earrings of Madame de…. What an impeccably made film.

        Glad to see it get some love – alongside the excellent The Leopard of course.

  4. I’m stunned at how many of these films I saw theatrically, either (as a child) in first run or (as an adult) in a “repertory cinema.”

    A lot of these hairdos are just basically the star’s usual look, with slight alterations like a wiglet on top or a fall in the back for an illusion of “length”– both of which were being used by fashionable women regularly at this point.

    In THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, Carol Channing and Julie Andrews were both wearing basically the same hairstyles they wore at the time, with a tiny bit of wave added in some scenes and Andrews covered by cloche hats a lot.

    (Julie Andrews had almost identical hair in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, only slightly straighter, so I guess the Mother Superior finally confiscated the curlers she had underneath her wimple.)

    Mary Tyler Moore’s hair, though, was a deliberate attempt to make “Miss Dorothy” an “old-fashioned girly girl” rather than a “modern woman”– she’s based on silent screen star Dorothy Gish, according to a contemporary account I read.

    (This may have been in the liner notes for the original release TMM soundtrack LP I used to have, which had an entire booklet on the film bound in.)

    Anyway, great job on these! Looking forward to one on the ’70s!

    1. Julie Andrews’ character in Thoroughly Modern Millie even tries to get Mary Tyler Moore’s character to bob her hair but then she meets a man who (naturally) prefers her long curls.

      1. Even worse, the man who falls for Dorothy is Millie’s square-jawed boss (John Gavin)– who Millie already had her eye on from the moment she walked in for her interview (she even hears Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” when she sees him)!

        Alas, despite trying to “vamp” him at one point, personal secretary Millie merely becomes his “right hand man”– he even calls her “John”– and she even has to make the calls to arrange his first date with Dorothy, which includes his choice of two dozen “pink, plump” long-stemmed roses to be sent before the dinner.

        As a brokenhearted Millie dutifully makes the calls, she intermittently sings the ’20s torch song “Poor Butterfly” (a reference to the tragic, abandoned “Madame Butterfly”). And at the very end, she breaks down and orders the two dozen “pink, plump” roses as “– on the FAT side!”

      2. Julie Christie also looks super 60s in Far From the Madding Crowd (set in the Victorian era)

  5. “Oliver! (1968) drives me crazy for THOSE BANGS.”

    This is a great example of just taking the performer’s current look and incorporating it into a half-assed “period” hairstyle with minimal tweaking. (Debbie Reynolds also displays this, but not as obviously.)

    Shani Wallis had one of those short ’60s Vidal Sassoon hairstyles at the time of filming, and they just added some hair at the back of her head, giving her those short layers on top and “those bangs.”

    This is the way her own hair looked about six months before shooting started (that’s Sassoon with her):

    compared with the added hair in the film:

    So why not a full wig? Was it maybe an attempt to keep her recognizable (she was starting to catch on in the U.S. as a singer at the time, with appearances on TV variety shows)?

    Or were they– gag— just trying to make her more “relatable” to a contemporary audience’s sense of style? (It’s a precursor to the “shag” haircut sported by both sexes just a few years later.)

    This “hair-don’t” is the coiffure equivalent of the denim in MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS (2018), IMO.

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