54 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK: Sanditon & Side Parts

  1. Trystan, could you please review “Love in Chains” (Krepostnaya)? The show has been a massive hit in Poland and the Ukraine. I’m in a snarky Facebook with over 9000 members, in which we bash the script of the series and sharing a link to your opinion about the costumes in this production would be a great, great honor to me.

  2. Now I’m going to be looking for side parts, in addition to lamenting the lack of hairpins and hating the horrible dearth of hats. Thanks for helping me up my snark game!

    1. I fear I’ll start doing the same (takes my mind off the impeachment). Hair down, hair uncovered, boots indoors, inaccurate corsets/stays, stretch velvet–am I missing anything? Sometimes 20th/21st-century eyebrows on medieval women drive me mad as well.

      1. Oh dear,I was just being sarcastic.Snark week has tackled worse horrors earlier too.And this isn’t my first Snark week-I only started commenting here recently.😊

  3. Maybe it’s written into all these characters that they have bumpy heads or large scalp moles that make center parting impossible.

  4. Portrait of a Lady on Fire!
    Such a great movie (even if the narative is not really historically accurate), but why, oh why, does Adèle Haenel have a side part all the fucking time?!

  5. Good tip. I often kind of don’t think about the hair but since starting to read this blog I have paid more attention and gotten more annoyed, lol.

    For the Love in Chains series, I went to Russian wikipedia and it’s apparently set in 1856. I’m outsourcing the plot summary to Google, which I think is intelligible not perfect:

    “In 1856, 18-year-old serf Katerina Verbitskaya lives in the provincial city of Nizhyn, Chernihiv province. It is owned by the rich landowner Pyotr Chervinsky. She has impeccable manners, she perfectly knows several foreign languages, plays the piano and even paints. So her godmother raised her – the wife of Chervinsky Anna Lvovna. Katerina involuntarily is on the verge of two worlds: nobles and intellectuals on the one hand, and serfs deprived of their liberty on the other. On the way to freedom and love, a serf girl will have to go through many trials.”

  6. Other than that, what are your feels towards Sanditon? Is there more Snark to come? Or a true review? The drama-after-dark Girls mentioned, that a lot of consideration went into the costumes last night but nothing further?

      1. Spoilers…first two episodes…

        Ugh I wanted to like Sanditon…but they making it hard. Is Charlotte “out”? Her hair goes up & down, mostly down of course. But they lost me with a line “was just pulling your leg”…which seems unlikely in early 19th century as a common phrase. Also the manner in which Sidney spoke to Charlotte in ep 2…would a gentleman speak to any young lady so rudely? Especially one he barely knows? Always hate the scenario with the eventual lovers starting out despising each other anyway…this guy is even ruder than Darcy. But of course love is in the air, he must be redeemed.

        1. No, a gentleman would never speak to a lady like that, not to mention a guest and a near stranger. Obviously it COULD happen, but it would be a huge breach of etiquette and unforgivably rude. A man could be challenged to a duel for saying less (though she had no male protectors and duels were rare in practice as they were illegal.) The actress also looks very young, so it looks like a grown man going on an unhinged rant and ruining a teenager’s first ball.

    1. Having watched the first (2 episode) dose, I’m wary of continuing. I think a true review WOULD include snark. Struggling so hard . . .

  7. Oh ye gods! The hair in Sanditon was generally tragic beyond belief! Mostly it just limply hung about their faces; or poked, like straw, from underneath their derpy bonnets… and as you so rightly highlight, all those anachronistic side partings! Bah! My biggest peeve though is when an actress is wearing a French hood and has an obvious side parting underneath… grrrrrrrrgh.

  8. I’m amazed at your restraint regarding Sanditon. You didn’t even mention the 1940’s Veronica Lake hair on one of the characters.

  9. I saw a bit of the pilot. Charlotte’s hair was bad enough, but I saw the blonde girl’s hair and turned it off! It was wavy 1940s style!!! Fuck that Shit! I wonder what Regency hairstyles women of color would wear? Also this needs more fab turbans, caps and feathers, baby!

  10. That Love in Chains is my personal point of WTF. Kinda consensual love story between a serf girl and a nobleman? rolls eyes In Russian empire, affairs of masters with serf girls were not unknown in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries until the serfdom was abolished, but it takes a lot of imagination to think that it could be entirely free on both sides, especially when a girl is your property to dispose of as you like if she refuses you.
    Sorry for the rant, but such plots make me angry on so many levels. They could take some real life stories which I know of from our history, but they would not be so glamorous.

    1. Yanina, the relationship between the serf and the nobleman was not consensual. In fact there was no relationship, because the whole time he was obsessed with her and chasing her and she was running away from him. Generally, the script of “Love in Chains” is very weak and full of historical errors. The only good thing about the series are the actors, most of which (except for the actresses playing Katerina and Lydia as well as the actor playing Alexei) are excellent. To be fair, I have never seen so many talented actors in one production.

  11. I liked the story of “Sanditon”, but dammit . . . those hairstyles! And there were a few wardrobe choices that left me shaking my head.

  12. Older lady in Love in Chains looks like actress who played Elizabeth Petrova aka Tsaritsa Elizabeth I in Russian Yekaterina

  13. The side parts bothered me too in latest LW, but it wasn’t the only thing in the movie that did.

    I have a theory re side part vs center part. It’s the patriarchy feels center Part adds weight to the face and side part doesn’t. But it also could be sloppy research.

  14. Now I’ll be watching for center parting in addition to 10,000 other Wrong Things. Thanks, FF. ;)

    Wonder why they center-parted for centuries — because hair naturally parts there? Or did they want their faces to appear rounder and therefore more “angelic”?

    1. I would think it’s the symmetry. Alas, my hair naturally parts off center, so I guess if I had no pomade, I would be hopelessly out of fashion.

  15. Well, I guess it’s a good think I stick with a centre part all the time so when I do historical stuff, my hair’s closer to accurate. I usually do Viking stuff though so I’m wearing some sort of cap or headscarf and you can’t see the centre part.

  16. Hey guys, I found a deep side part! It’s from 1660s Spain. Wasn’t that a thing at that point? (And probably ONLY at that point?)

    I never noticed the proliferation of side parts before. Now I can’t unsee it…

  17. I would be interested to hear from the “offenders”. There must be a reason they are styling things that way? Hard to believe a costumer wouldn’t do due diligence!

    1. Because it’s fashionable in modern 21st century hair — that’s why they do it. That’s always why they do it. Modern fashions are easy, they’re relatable, & they look “right” to the modern eye. Historical accuracy ranks low.

    2. I’m around 50 and so my knowledge of hairstyles in the 70s and 80s might be relevant here.

      About the last time (apart from a few years in the 90s) a hard centre parting was fashionable was the 60s, and your hair had to be poker straight. A side parting was thought to be more flattering to most face shapes, and the centre parting unnecessarily unflattering, which isn’t always the case but when that kind of enters women’s mindsets it’s hard to break. So you get hairstylists who are so used to not using a centre parting and only having learned the sort of updos women get for formal occasions like weddings, proms, etc, working on film hair they assume that the updos they learned are somehow historical and go from there.

      I suspect as well that modern notions of what’s ‘pretty’ heavily influence costume, make-up and hair designers. You get the odd understandable decision, but most of the time it’s definitely a case of ‘modern’ hair trends, like beachy waves, and a complete lack of understanding that loose hair, like leaving off a corset, was indicative of loose morals for many historical periods. I watched Sanditon in full and was pretty distracted by the complete lack of hairpins on the main character, which could be understood when she was running about on a farm with her younger siblings but not when she was in the fashionable seaside town.

  18. I have found it best to knit while watching Sanditon, so I miss some of the side parts. They just look so wrong!

  19. Heh. When I first saw that Le Bon Ton 1864 plate, I thought it was an illustration of 1940’s hairstyles. I wondered whether you got the link wrong. Oh well, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  20. Thank you! The loose hair was driving me crazy In Sandition, and now the side parts too. Is anyone else bothered by the age gap between Charlotte and Sydney? To my 55 year old eyes, she looks like she could be his daughter.

    1. The actress was 25 but she could easily pass for ten years younger, while I believe the actor is mid 30s. While I would prefer actors closer in age (in the original story they are 22 and 27) it doesn’t bother me so much because of norms of the time (Colonel Brandon and Marianne, Emma and Mr. Knightley) except that he belittles and mocks her. They clearly want to do a Pride and Prejudice type set up, but he is far blunter and crueler than Darcy ever was (not to mention the rules of etiquette of the time), and the fact that he looks like an adult bullying a teenager makes it far worse.

  21. Side parts in period pieces demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how long hair was washed or otherwise cleaned before cream rinse was invented in the early 1900s.

  22. Started watching ‘Sanditon’ on BBC First, here in Holland, tonight. Missed the first airing of it on BBC England. Boy this is going to be a real struggle, trying to keep watching this TV costume Drama. They say that only the first 30 minutes are based on Austen’s last & unfinished novel. But I don’t even recognize her writing in those 30 minutes. It is almost unbelievable that the “famous” screenwriter Andrew Davies is behind this hot mess. Which seems to be in close collaboration with how their Costume Department thought they should F**K it up for all us Costume Drama fans around the world. No wonder there will be NO second Season!!! [This is ITV’s second Costume drama flop in a row after ‘Beecham House’ was discontinued.] Even having it been let loose now on the North American viewing market, will NOT save this sick puppy. That’s for sure!!!

  23. One hairstyle in Sanditon that I liked was Mrs Griffith’s. I didn’t see a part and no curls in front but her overall appearance seemed very Regency.

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