Sometimes Lady Gaga accessorizes like 18th century European royalty.

February 16, 2010 at the Brit Awards

Lady Gaga is famous for her extreme styles: her clothes, her shoes, and of course, her hair. She often wears wigs, I assume because if she dyed her hair as much as she would like to, it would all fall out within a month.

February 16, 2010 in London England

Sometimes her wigs clearly draw inspiration from 18th century aristocracy. 

Marie Antoinette

Women in the late 18th century didn’t actually wear wigs that often. (Unless they were, like, bald or something.)  Instead, they would hire hairdressers to add false hair to their own natural hair. Extensions, if you will. They would then powder it, usually white, but it could be brown, gray, orange, blue, pink, yellow, or violet.

Two high hairstyles, the right à la candor or the charm of innocence, in French fashion plates, 1778.

Hair did not become crazy high overnight. In the 1760’s styles began to increase in a vertical sense, and the 1770’s were when things began to get out of hand.

Empress Maria Theresa painted by Martin van Meytens

Empress Maria Theresa even wrote to her daughter, Marie Antoinette, to voice her concerns over her daughter, the fashion victim.

She writes:

“They speak of hair-dressing a coiffure thirty-six inches high from the roots of the hair, with feathers and ribbons above that again! You know my opinion, to follow fashion in moderation, never to excess. A young and pretty queen has no need of such follies.”

Marie Antoinette with seashells in her hair (I think).

Marie Antoinette couldn’t deny it, although she tried to justify herself that she wasn’t the only insane person in the French court:

“It is true that I am rather taken up with dress; but as for feathers, every one wears them, and it would seem extraordinary if I did not!”

This is great video showing Rococo style in general, and culminating with Marie Antoinette’s (played by Kirsten Dunst) mega hairdo.

Even Lady Gaga can’t compete with Marie Antoinette’s hair. But looking back on the young and pretty queen’s fate, perhaps that’s for the best.

November 14, 2009 at the MOCA NEW 30th anniversary gala


Sources: De Mode Couture, The Cut, In Triumph’s Wake by Julia P. Gelardi