Sarah and I have each listed the top 5 dresses from frock flicks we’d wear the shit out of. Now I’m gonna hone in on something that more specifically influences costumes I make: wigs and hairstyles! I’m more likely to look at historical movies and TV shows for hair inspiration than period sources simply because I can often get a 360 view and watching how people wear historical hairstyles, how they move, and how the wig works with different costumes is so much more informative than a period painting or fashion plate. Granted, a lot of costume hairstyling I do these days is for fantasy-historical mashup events like Carnevale, so historical accuracy isn’t priority number one.
Anyway, here’s some movie/TV wigs I adore! And while some of these may be intended to be the character’s real hair within the context of the movie/TV show and the historical period, I also know they’re all created with wigs and hairpieces because that’s how filming works. So I’m calling them generically “wigs” here.
1. Richard Cosway in Jefferson in Paris (1995)
This deceptively simple look is perhaps my very favorite, and I’ve tried to recreate it for my drag king character Leonard. I love the loose curls, the little “heart” the curls make above his forehead, and of course the makeup sets off the look perfectly.
2. Lord Fellamar in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997)
I honestly don’t remember much about this miniseries; I guess it was fine? It didn’t bowl me over compared with a lot ’90s frock flicks. But Peter Capaldi as the baddie does have magnificent hair! I’ve also done a wig like this for myself, and it’s a great look.
3. All the Men in The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)
This super stylized version of the late 17th century is gorgeous to look at, and I adore all the fops with their pointy-topped full-bottomed wigs!
3. Princess Catherine of Braganza in The Last King (2003)
Yes, I like women’s historical hair too! At least when it’s wacky. Not sure she really wore 1650s Spanish styles when she came to England to marry Charles II in 1662. But good hair is good hair.
4. Estella in Great Expectations (2012)
5. Most of the Women in The Borgias, Seasons 2-3 (2012-13)
Season one was pretty, but I adore the elaborate hair of the second two seasons, and especially on the older women (sorry, Holliday Grainger as Lucrezia, you got your hair goodness already!). Specifically I love these:
Do you notice wigs/hairstyles in frock flicks? Any faves you’d wear the shit out of?