All is not gold that glitters in her hair this season
Sitting at the rear of a fashionable audience at theatre or opera this winter, one is impressed by the number of sparkling ornaments in the women's coiffures – and also at the dainty, neat and carefully groomed aspect of the coiffures themselves.
Fluffy hair is no longer good style; neither is baggy hair or frizzy hair; and a frowsy, half informal hairdressing has no merit of artistic value these days.
All that is permitted in the way of artificial curling is a lone, loose marcel wave conforming to the line of the head, rather than standing out from it; and the tresses seem to be burnished in some manner so that there are no straggling wisps or fluttering locks. All is neat, compact and exquisitely well groomed – as has been said.
In these dainty hairdressings are thrust splendid combs glittering with brilliants and colored stones; the color of course carefully selected to harmonize with the costume. Some of the combs one notes at the opera are set with real diamonds and genuine rubies and emeralds; but these expensive coiffure ornaments are in the minority. Most of the modern hair combs sparkle with rhinestones and jewels of colored glass, but the effect is none the less brilliant for all that; and imitation gems have a very decided style value, quite apart from any question of intrinsic value, which makes them superlatively correct.
Several stage influences have made glittering hair ornaments the fashion. For one, the gorgeous spectacle of the Ballet Russe in which wondrous ornaments for head and hair form an important part of the costumes, designed by that past master of color, Leon Bakst. “Bakst's” hair ornaments of various sorts are already displayed in the larger shops and splendor and weird design are their special features.
Four Bakst combs for the hair are pictured in the larger illustration; and the most impressive of the combs is shown adjusted in the hair, in another illustration. This comb which has a peculiar shape of no particular meaning as far as the uneducated eye is concerned, is a combination of amber and crystal, set with rhinestones and imitation rubies and sapphires. The big comb is thrust into the hair in smart effect, standing out only slightly from the head and forming a graceful part of the coiffure rather than a sharp note of contrast. The comb to the right of the one just described is of amber and tortoise-shell with sunken rhinestones, cut steel beads and imitation emeralds.
The fan-shaped comb at the lower left is of tortoise shell set with seed pearls, jet and imitation topaz – an excellent comb for a gray-haired woman. At the lower right is a comb in wing design, the spread pinions outlined with feathers made of tiny garnets and rhinestones. All around the edge of the wings is a border or garnets, and within this a second border of rhinestones.
High Spanish combs are becoming more and more fashionable. They demand a piled-up hairdressing, the tall comb making a background for a towering mass of curls of soft puffs. The Spanish comb worn with a low hairdressing loses much of its artistic value and gives an old-maidish suggestion to the head. Sometimes the Spanish comb is thrust obliquely into the hair at one side of the coiffure but its best effect is high at the back, behind a mass of piled-up puffs.
The peacock comb is another fashion of the winter. This comb, worn high on the head, has a fan-shaped top set with imitation sapphires and emeralds and from the jeweled mounting sprout feathery fronds of goura. The peacock comb takes its name from the headdress worn by Miss Ruth St. Denis in her dance of “Nur Jehan, Indian Princess of the House of Akbar”. This princess was supposed to be so vain that she was condemned to be a peacock for life, and the gorgeous costume of the dancer, portraying the peacock princess, is all in tones of shimmering blue and green; the odd head-dress topping a veil of latticed pearls.
There are scores of attractive combs in the straight or curved bar effect, set with rhinestones and colored stones, and mounted on two to six prongs of amber or tortoise shell. These are thrust into the hair in various ways, the glittering line of the comb's top snuggling into the hair with just the right emphasis of brilliance. One of these combs has a crescent shaped top of dark shell set with rhinestones on a slender line of silver, the crescent fitting against the side of the coiffure just back of the ear.
Whatever the manner of arranging the back hair now, the front hair, is drawn closely against the head, revealing its shape and giving the effect of a small, dainty head crowned with a wealth of tresses – the wealth revealed by an enormous knot at the back or crown, or by many little curls or puffs piled high. Some women can stand the very fashionable drawn-back pompadour, revealing all of the forehead; but the style is too trying for the average face; so fashion permits a becoming little fringe, or softly framing weaves emanating from a side-parting, and drawn low over the forehead, but these locks and waves must be exquisitely neat; even must lie just so without a hint of frizziness.
If the hair has just been marcelled, it is best to wear a net over it to restrain the dry, fluffy effect. After a day or two of brushing the marcel wave will be smoother and the net may be dispensed with.
This spring, any type of straw may be used for the hats - rough and smooth one, lacquered and non-lacquered one. The newest material is the combination of wool and straw called angora, and the most fashionable weaving is chrysanthemum. At the start of the season, small hats will dominate, but towards the end of the season they are likely to grow in size. We also likely to see a variety of hat shapes: flat, high and voluminous ones. The principal decorations are ribbons, bands, flowers, lacquered leaves, jade, and pearls. Vivid colors will have immense popularity.
Splendid with color are these new combs adapted from design by Bakst.
A Bakst comb of weird shape with Persian figures in enamel and inset jewels of colored glass.