Yo waddup, my peasants? It’s ur gurl back from a weekend of big fun and big hair
So on Saturday, ya gurl did one of her bigass hair demos, but this time I did someone else’s hair, my good friend Kim Walters from Sign of the Gray Horse. We did a presentation on jewelry, hair, and makeup relating to the Paca family. Since Mary Paca lived in the house from 1760 until her death in 1774, we decided to keep our research within those years for our presentation.
Erik and I made the journey down to Annapolis, Maryland for the presentation (we travel everywhere!) and let me tell you, it’s absolutely beautiful there! The brickwork, the architecture, the antique shops, the food, everything was wonderful! Best of all, I got to see Kim, whom I haven’t seen in basically fivever and do her hair. Kim has been a volunteer at the Paca house for a long time now and has done some spectacular programs there, so it was an honor to join her for one. Her first-person programs are beautifully intricate and the history put into them is stellar.
The Paca House itself is a wonder to behold, a prime example of the beauty of Georgian architecture and design. When you first walk in, you’re greeted with bright blues, greens, and berries molded in stately white and embellished in gold festooned with original furniture to both the era and the family.
The event was a full house!!! The area was packed with historical docents from all over Maryland ready to learn– and learn they did!
For Kim’s presentation, she presented on jewelry that was popular from between 1760-1774; from what she’s noticed, jewelry fashion comes and goes in cycles. Collet necklaces such as her Duchessa pieces are popular in the 1740s but remain fashionable in the 1760s and early 1770s.
Pearls are a classic no matter what era you’re in, be it 1760s or 1860s!
For my portion of the presentation, I focused on– you guessed it– hair. It was ever so slightly out of what I’m used to doing; I’m accustomed to doing hair from between 1776-1783 occasionally dabbling into mid 1760s, but I wanted to challenge myself with a 1771-1773 style for myself and Kim. I pored through various prints and portraits until I found the perfect styles. Some of these styles were more conical while others were more rounded at the top, and that’s thanks to the advice of hair treatises such as Peter Gilchrist’s written in 1772. In order to be a proper hair dresser, one had to understand their client; not every style of hair was flattering to someone’s face and it was up to the dresser to flatter their client with the appropriate look,
The hairdresser ought to be thoroughly versed in Physiognomy, and must have a particular regard to the complexion and features of those he is employed to dress, that he may use powder in a becoming proportion, and dress the hair to the dimensions of the face.
When the face is large in diameter, it ought to be dressed high and forward, of equal height, which takes off the masculine look.
For the small oval face, it ought to be close to the edge and rise gradually.
But if the lady is low in stature, it should be high at the top, and terminate to a point.
For a long visage, it ought to be dressed rather flat at the top, and low at the ears, to swell suddenly at the temples; and if the curls are placed promiscuously, the better, as that and the scope of the hair will make the features seem round and proportionable.
The dressee’s age must also be taken into consideration,
The mother must have a more sedate mien than the daughter: the former should be dressed as if it were to comply in some degree with the custom of the world; the latter, to lead the fashion.
Going by these rules, I decided to go with a conical shape since I’m rather small at a towering 5’4 and have a rounder face. I went with a simpler hairstyle because I was wearing a cap and I wanted to really show off with Kim’s hair… Also I got up at 8:30 in the gosh-darn morning after a long trip down! I also figured a ladies maid might just do a simpler style for herself because ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!
I took some inspiration from my fellow historical thots in Harris’ List from 1773
I realize now upon further inspection, I got the curls on the side too big, but I’m fashion forward… That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Peter Gilchrist also suggests having two curls under the ears is always “becoming.” In his book, the high hair isn’t referred to as a high roll, but a toupee and, if the hair is too thin– like mine– the toupee needs to be dressed with wool,
To support the toupee when the hair is thin, it is necessary to put in some wool or hair, but not such wool is dyed black; because the copperas, and other ingredients used in dying it, are certainly of noxious quality… (regarding a smooth toupee) If the hair is not remarkably thick, it will not dress full, unless dressed by wool, which, after the first day, will be distinguished through the wool, and look very ill
For my portion of the lecture, I went through some of the slides pointing out the basics of the lady’s toilette– something I’ll be writing about sooner than later– before subjecting Kim to The Chair… Oh yeah, my girl was getting the historical treatment! I spent the next hour and a half dressing Kim’s hair while talking to the audience. As you guys know, the toilette was an intimate setting to share between friends and esteemed guests, so I reminded the audience that they’re special for being welcomed into the inner circle that was the lady’s toilette. And it was an intimate setting for a reason, boy oh boy is it a hot mess!
It was a long, messy process, some doubted I could pull it off!
There were murmurs that it couldn’t be done.
There was hair powder everywhere.
And then…. SUCCESS!
Thunderous applause erupted through the Georgian mansion as it once again saw familiar hair trends, Kim has bigass hair! I wove some of her celebrated hair pearls through the curls as my finishing blow which created an elegant look to be admired by all. Hair pearls were popular all through the 1760s well into the 1780s.
For Kim’s hairdo, I went with a style that seemed popular in 1773 because I’ve seen it in England, France, and America. As you see above, Marie Antoinette rocked it in 1773 and since she was a fashion icon, maybe she made it trendy? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I went with it since it flattered her according to Peter Gilchrist; I went with a rounder hair style since she has a longer face and a slightly wider look since she’s taller and, not to toot my own horn, she looks FABULOUS!
You also see it remain fashionable in 1775, too!
For her makeup, I didn’t go as extreme on her as I do with my makeup because of how she prefers her modern makeup. My philosophy with historical fashion is that it should reflect who we are today; I wear a lot of dramatic eye makeup and whatnot, so I go for a more dramatic makeup, but for Kim, a nice, subtle layer of rouge was just PERFECT on her.
All in all, I can safely say it was a job well done from the both of us!
The look was just stunning on her; the hair pearls were the perfect finishing touch since they echoed the soft white of her gown as well as her earrings and necklace
Naturally we had to take photos!
With my post wrapping up, I want to thank Kim Walters for inviting me to present with her at such a gorgeous site; the Paca House is a must-visit. The site is beautiful, the staff is some of the most welcoming and kind people I’ve ever met, and it’s in a fantastic location. I cannot recommend a tour here enough, Annapolis is magical! If you want some of the beautiful jewelry you saw in this blog post, you can visit Kim’s shop here and tell her I sent you! I did an interview with her a while back which you can read here, so you can get the whole story of her shop and her mission. I’m incredibly blessed to have such a good friend as her, I feel like this is the beginning of a powderful team (I’ll see myself out). Anyway, I’m out, peasants, I gotta wash the rest of this powder out. I love you! Embrace the big hair energy we exude!