Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fashion History Sunday!

They're scattered about your apartment. They hide at the bottom of your purse. Maybe you find them in the shower. Sometimes you find them snagged in your rug. Sometimes your magpie kitty steals them. You probably leave a trail of them and don't even know it.
                                                           We're talking BOBBY PINS!

 If you dig vintage fashion you probably are quite familiar with this amazing little hair accessory. But I bet you don't know it's history....

Anthropologically speaking it's safe to infer that early cave dwellers adorned their hair with crude pins made of thorns, sticks, bone and even stone.  Archaeologists have cited hairpins dating back to as early as 2000 BC when the Greeks produce gold single prong pins. During the 3rd and 4th century it's recorded that Romans made bronze decorative single prong hair pins. The two pronged pin, the basis for our beloved pin, originates in Asia as early as the year 300! These pins were made of bone, horn, wood, or metal and were often inlaid with jewels  ivory or silver. Ancient hairpins were not just about taming that pesky flyaway, they were symbols of ones social status  Whole rituals revolved around the hairpin. In ancient Chinese culture the use of hairpins played a very important role in a ritual called "Hairpin Initiation". This rite of passage happened when a girl turned fifteen. She would undo her braids or pigtail, wash her hair, and comb her hair into a bun securing it with hairpins. This signified that she could now enter into marriage

 The double pronged hair pin we know of today can be credited to Luis Marcus and began production in America in the early 19th century. By 1910 the term bobby pin entered the lexicon, named after the popular hairstyle the "Bob" that was sweeping the nation. These pins were all the rage with flappers as it held ones bob in place and also were the key tool in creating perfect pin curls. 

During the mid to late 40's bobby pins were an unfortunate victim of war. The U.S government stopped production of these lovely's to use the material and machines to produce airplane cotter pins.  But the Bobby Pin was not to be held down! It made it's come back during the 50's and 60's as high ponytails and soft curls became fashionable.

 Today bobby pins are used for hairstyling and plenty more. Bookmark? Lockpick? Impromptu screwdriver? But if you take anything from this ramble take this fact; many of you ladies are using these pins wrong. Luis Marcus designed the pin with one wavy side and one flat side for a purpose. The wavy part is meant to grip the hair while the flat part faced outwards and laid sleek against your coif. So turn that puppy around, trust me it will make a world of difference.  

Next week I talk BOWS!
 Until then you can fest your eyes on these to hold you over.

                                                                        Red red red

Until then....
Caiti & Jess

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