Fashion is cyclical, and even now, wanting to change your hairstyle, you don't have to flip through the feed of Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid or other Instagram influencers. Knowing the trend in the 60s or 90s, for example, you can be inspired by the films and TV shows of that time. Or go to a museum. Surprisingly, on the canvases of the great artists of past centuries, there are images that are relevant today: from romantic curls and volume at the roots from the Renaissance to bob and pixie haircuts, relevant at the beginning of the 20th century. Art critic Natalia Vostrikova confirms these facts. Read her opinion on why we, sometimes unconsciously, return to the trends of the past, and also see our selection of portraits that (instead of a celebrity selfie) can be safely carried to your hair master.
art critic of the lecture hall "Synchronization", author of courses on art history at the Institute of Slavic Culture of the Moscow State University of Economics and Technology, Institute of Humanities Education and Information Technologies
Hairstyle is one of those aspects of life that at all times played a role in the development of human society. Perhaps this is due to the fact that regardless of time, fashion or opportunities, the hair in one way or another required some attention. In various ancient cultures, hairstyle features, often associated with the specifics of the climate and the characteristics of life, gradually turned into a social element. So, in ancient Egypt, it became necessary for the priests to shave their heads. Moreover, hairstyles associated with the designation of social status are one of the most stable in culture. An example of this can be, in particular, monastic tonsure.
The revision of the attitude to the hairstyle can be seen in the culture of Ancient Rome, it is there that the foundations of our ideas about fashion are largely born. In ancient Roman culture, for example, there is a fashion for hairstyles in the style of the reigning emperors, and many of these images have been safely preserved to this day. This applies to both haircuts and wearing a beard - in Rome, it will only come into fashion during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Women's hairstyles were also incredibly diverse, which often makes it easy to date sculptural portraits.
Saint Dominic on a fresco by Fra Beato Angelico
Most of the basic forms of hairstyles, both female and male, are rooted in ancient times. However, in different periods of history there are examples of incredibly complex styling - I think many have heard of hairstyles with ships, which were in vogue in the 18th century. Most often, a parallel can be drawn between cultural crisis and the complexity of the external image. The more hectic the time, the more complex the hairstyle. And it is the hairstyle that becomes one of the ways to declare new, even revolutionary ideas. Suffice it to recall women's short haircuts of the early 20th century.
In the modern world, trends are more often set by media persons, but, nevertheless, haircuts and styling are still widespread, which can be found in the paintings of old masters. These are complex weaving of braids, popular since the Renaissance, and beams, the popularization of which is partly related to the general interest in ballet in the 19th century. I think there are certain signs in our cultural code that are read at a subconscious level. So, the same floral decorations create a romantic image, and a short haircut still retains a certain veil of rebellious spirit.
A hairstyle, primarily for women, is one of the most affordable and relatively safe ways to convey your position, your message to the environment. It allows you to play certain social roles
Even in our 21st century, we still actively (although sometimes unconsciously) use the techniques of past eras. See and be inspired by haircuts and styling on the canvases of famous artists.
The main hit of recent years. This haircut is now worn by Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and other models. In the 20s and 30s, many celebrities also did not part with this hairstyle.
Portrait of Maria Blanchard, Torah Vega Holmström, 1921
Portrait of Actress Alice White, Olive Snell, 1930s
At the end of 2019, the pixie haircut was done by Charlize Theron and Bella Hadid. In the 1920s, it was also relevant.
Portrait, Conrado Massager, 1926
The trend, especially popular in summer, is also found in portraits of the last century: as a headband or as a hairpin.
White Ribbon, Albert Lynch, c. 1900
Girl with a Mask in Her Hands, Jules Frederic Ballavoin, 1870
All kinds of hairpins from the 90s have returned to our days a few years ago. They were also popular with our grandmothers or great-grandmothers.
Blue Gazebo, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1865
The Girl with the Lily, Elisabeth Sonrell, 1930s
This is not the first season in the trend of headbands - thin or wide, flat or voluminous, monochromatic, multi-colored, decorated with beads.
Black blouse, Kes van Dongen, 1910
Elaine, Emma Sandys, 1862
Fiammetta, Emma Sandys, 1876
Medium length hair
Olivia Palermo's favorite haircut is found not only in fashion magazines, but also in paintings. For example, in the work of the New Zealand artist Rita Angus.
Rutu, Rita Angus, 1951
A styling for any occasion that came into fashion in the 19th century with everyone's passion for ballet.
At the Theater, Prudence Heward, 1928
Portrait of Jane, Gerald Kelly, 1930
Flowers in hair
Nowadays, fresh flowers in hair are rather used for beautiful photo shoots in nature. Previously, they were used to decorate complex hairstyles for everyday life.
Catharina, Frederick Leighton, 1879
Young Beauty with Flowers in Her Hair, Albert Lynch, c. 1850
High buns or intricate weaves are still trending, but for special occasions. For example, with a hairstyle like the heroine in the portrait below, ours or Hollywood stars could well enter the red carpet of the film awards.
Portrait of a Woman Seated under a Tree, Merry-Joseph Blondel, 1830