Magasin des Modes, 6e Cahier, Plate I

January 10, 1787

No-one can deny that our French Ladies cause their fashions to be adopted by Ladies of nearly all other Kingdoms; however, we must admit that there are restitutions that they make to nearly all. Did they not borrow, at least two years ago, Polonaises, Anglaises, Turques, Chinoises? Now they borrow Espagnoles. It is true that they return versions that are much better than those they received, and, to be exact, they only borrow the names, and they create the things themselves. When they copy, they correct and embellish. When they imitate, they create. From a too inventive imagination, too fecund to stick slavishly to their models, they borrow, they create. They become, in a word, the masters of the originators. This talent shines in the modern Spanish hats and cap, as it shined in the robes à la Polonaise, in the English hats, in the Turkish caps, and in the poufs à la Chinoise.

The Woman dressed in a pink satin gown wears a hat à l'Espagnole. This hat is of a soft blue sain. The crown, called l'Espagnole, is of a white satin and very puffed. It is wrapped with a wide ribbon, with lilac, white, and blue stripes, which forms a large bow behind, whose two ends hang very low. This hat is surmounted with three large plumes, of which two are blue and one is white, and with an aigrette of rooster feathers, tinted at the ends with flame color.

This Woman's hair is frizzed in little, separated curls all over the head. This hairstyle is the dominant fashion today. Four large curls, in two rows, fall on each side of her chest. In the back, her hair is pulled up in a flat chignon.

On her neck, a kerchief en chemise, with three collars, fastened in the front with a large-headed gold pin.

In her ears, gold earrings à la Plaquette.

The Woman whose shoulders are covered with a blue pelisse, trimmed on the edges with bands of fox fur, wears a cap à l'Espagnole. This cat is of a soft blue satin. The crown, à l'Espagnole, is of white satin, and very puffed. It is wrapped with a wide ribbon with lilac, white, and clue stripes, which forms a large bow in the back, the ends of which hang very low. This hat is surmounted by three large plumes, two of which are blue and one white, and with a rooster aigrette, dyed flame-color at the ends.

This Woman's hair is frizzed like the first's; like her, she wears gold earrings à la Plaquette and a kerchief en chemise, also fastened with a large-headed pin.

One of the Women shown in Plate I is frizzed without powder, and the other has her hair dusted with a blonde powder. The two modes are preferred by the greatest number, and they should be, because they give much more sweetness to the face than the white powder, which always hardens it. The hairstyle with blonde powder carries it over even the unpowdered hair, because the blondeness that it gives to the hair flatters the eye more agreeably, and removes any hardness that could be found in the face.

Blonde hair was so esteemed by the Germans that, among this people, those who hadn't been given this color by nature exhausted all the resources of art to achieve it. For this effect, they used a type of soap made of goat tallow and beech ash. It seems that this color was as pleasing to the Roman ladies, the Wigmakers of Rome, says Ovid, commonly bought hair shorn from German heads to make false hairstyles and satisfy the taste of the Petites-Maîtresses who absolutely wanted to pass as blonde.

The Kings of France, we are told, and the Princes of the Blood regarded wearing very long hair as one of their privileges. The hair, when the Monarchy began, was so greatly venerated that the only manner of degrading a Prince was to shave his head. This was how Clovis treated Cararic, after having beaten him. The son of this King, covered in the same disgrace, said to his father in order to console him: "The hair that has been cut from me is only green branches, which will return, for the trunk is not dead."

One swore by this hairstyle, says Saint-Foix, as one swears today on one's honor. Nothing was more polite, when saluting someone, than to pull out some hair and present it to them.


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