Capturing the Invisible: researching hair and hairdressing for Beehives Bobs and Blowdries 2018

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Capturing the invisible – the photograph as evidence of hair styles lost

Donna Louise Bevan

Donna.bevan@solent.ac.uk

Performance, transformation, evidence, authenticity , archive

Through my recent work on the exhibition, Beehives Bobs and Blow-dries,
Celebrating hair and hairdressing in the post war period, I have had to work extensively with the photograph as record and representation of hair styling over the last 50 years.
This has been achieved through archive collections, hair magazines and wider fashion press as well as individual /personal collections.
These range of images offer an insight into styles long gone, from street style to catwalk, which has been vital given the nature of the material I am researching

Unlike the history of fashion, which is so lovingly preserved in archives and private collections around the world, we cannot hold onto our hair fashion past.

This recording of the final look and often how to get the style, addressed in the photographic records I have utilised, is vital when the creation is so transitory.
Without these images we would have no evidence of past styles – although pre photography we have rely on painting/drawing and sculpture.

So while I did find the odd wig and hair piece in archives and collections it was only through the photographic image that I was able to piece these items to the body and to see them in this context and to the wider fashion objects of a given period.

My aim is to discuss some of the curatorial uses of such a wide range of photographic imagery and evidence within our current exhibition .Due to the lack of the original artefact the photographic images formed a major part of the display
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFashion Tales 2020+1
Subtitle of host publicationPolitics through the wardrobes
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2021

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