The Return of the Fringe - Drawbacks to Cutting a Fringe - Advice as to Buying Hair - Fringes of the Victorian Era - "Bunty" and the Fringe - Three Types of Fringes - Their Respective Merits and How to Arrange Them
When Fashion decreed that fringes were to be worn again, a general gasp went up from womankind.
Fifty years ago a woman without a fringe was a remarkable sight, for practically every woman wore one. Until quite recently a fringe on the forehead of the modern woman was an unknown quantity. The fringe vanished with early Victorian fashions and customs, and the few women who continued to wear one did so from necessity, seldom from choice, for a fringe once acquired is hard to dispose of, and constantly frizzed and crimped hair refuses to grow again in a hurry. Therefore many ladies who wore fringes in their girlhood because it was then the fashion, have had to stick to them.
Now the, fringe is the latest hairdressing mode; adapted, developed, and changed to suit modern styles, it has returned to favour, and the woman who likes to be in the vanguard of fashion must wear a fringe. This is an easy course for those who have never lost their early fringes; but those who never had one are faced with a difficulty. How can a fringe be acquired? It is a delicate question. Warned by the sufferings of her mother and aunts over their fringes, the modern girl does not feel inclined to rush boldly to a hairdresser, and have her pretty front hair transformed into a fringe. Where is she if the fashion changes suddenly?
Fashion is proverbially fickle, and styles which are extreme rush from popularity to obscurity with startling abruptness. A fringe is decidedly an extreme style, and therefore it is more than probable that it will soon cease to be de rigueur. But in the meantime (1912) it is the "last word" in hairdressing, and must be worn.
Having warned the fair sex of the dangers of a fringe which grows on their foreheads, may I advise those ladies who care to adopt this style during its probably brief popularity to buy their fringes, and fix them to their own untouched and unspoiled hair? Then, when Fashion pronounces the doom of the fringe, their hair will remain exactly as it was before. I feel I cannot warn my readers too strongly against the rashness of making a fringe from their own tresses. It is a drastic step that will probably be regretted with bitter tears. But the purchase of a becoming fringe, for quite a moderate figure, is a wise move; it allows the wearer to choose the style she likes best - to which her own hair might not be adaptable - and saves her endless bother and annoyance.
this fringe Designs by David Nicol, 50, Haymarket, S.w.
Fig. I. A charming modern adaptation of the straight fringe. This mode is specially becoming to a young girl and is quite easy to arrange. It should rest lightly upon the forehead, and the ends should be rolled under slightly. Waved coils or puffs accord well with
Buy your fringes, ladies; or, if you are determined to use your own hair for this purpose and take the risks, do not attempt to cut it yourself. Go to a good hairdresser, and let him perform the delicate operation.
Fringes date from early days, but they enjoyed their greatest popularity in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The fringe, as seen in pictures by Watteau and Sir Joshua Reynolds, and in old prints, is a very different affair from the fringe of to-day.
In those days the hair was divided about one and a half inches above the centre parting, leaving the V-shaped foundation behind it, which thus proves as old as the hills. All the hair beyond the foundation margin, from the crown of the head to the back of the ears, was turned into the fringe. It was cut into varying lengths, short towards the parting, and growing longer as it reached the ears. A large pad was fixed above each ear, and over this the "fringe" was arranged in tight curls, spreading like a fan from the centre parting to the top of the pad above each ear. Loops of hair, arranged in stiff bows, as in Japanese coiffures, rose from the back of these elaborate fringes; and the style must have been extremely trying.
The date of this peculiar "fringe" style was 1830, and at that time none of the fringe was permitted to lie in short hairs along the forehead, but was all utilised for curls.
It was not till much later that the straight and afterwards the curly fringe, popularised by Du Maurier, came into fashion. The fringe of straight, short hair hiding the forehead, and attached to a severe dressing with a chignon at the back, went with the voluminous skirts and poke bonnets of the early 'fifties. This style may be seen, in perfection, in any old volume of "Punch."
Trilby, and her severe fringe, was the outcome of this mode, then a craze of fashion.
Within the memory of the younger generation of to-day fringes have not been worn. They are associated, in the minds of young girls, with the ringlets, smooth tresses, and chignons of early and mid-victorian eras. Yet our mothers and aunts once wore fringes - as a glance at any family album will prove.
The fringe, as it has returned to us, is rather different from the fringe of Du Maurier's day. It is attached to more elaborate styles of hairdressing (for never has the mode been more elaborate than at the moment), and has naturally been altered to suit alterations in style. That managing young lady, Miss Bunty Biggar, in "Bunty Pulls the Strings," showed Londoners how fascinating a tiny fringe can look with a drooping curl attached.
There are now several types of fringe, all equally popular, and suited to diametrically opposite styles of face and hairdressing. On the whole, a fringe may be counted becoming, especially to ladies with high foreheads that are not particularly well shaped. A well-cut fringe hides a multitude of sins. A heavy face cannot stand a heavy, curly fringe, for it adds weight, at once, to the general effect. But a light, straight fringe with rolled-under points, is becoming to such faces; and the charm of a feathery-looking fringe is undeniable in conjunction with a young, fresh face.
The bushy, much-curled fringe is stately in effect, and goes with a graceful carriage and an elaborately dressed head. Any type of fringe can be bought or made to order at a good hairdresser's.
Let me beg ladies to be sure, when buying hair, that they go to a reliable place for it. The deadly dangers attached to the wearing of cheap Chinese hair, bought for a few shillings, are so real that no saving of money can counterbalance such a risk. If you cannot afford to buy good hair, do not buy any; and fringes especially should be chosen with great care, as they rest actually on the forehead.
I propose to describe and illustrate three of the most popular types of fringe, as well as the dressing that best suits each one.
Fig. D. The straight fringe (right across forehead.) This fringe is very becoming, especially to young girls, and is little trouble to arrange, as it needs very little curling. It reaches almost from ear to ear, resting lightly on the forehead, from the right temple to the left. As will be seen in the illustration on page 4811 this fringe is perfectly straight, the ends being very slightly rolled under, in order that they shall not stick out at an unsightly angle. It will be readily understood that the dressing accompanying such a fringe must not be at all frizzy or curly, or it will ruin the smooth effect of the fringe.
The waved coils, or puffs, would look well with such a style; and this makes it one which is soon made. The only suspicion of a wave occurs in the two side pieces, lifted from the ears, and soon hidden by the broad swathe. These are waved, quite lightly, in order that the line round the side of the head may be slightly softened just where it needs it most. The swathe is perfectly straight, and continues round the back of the head, below the crossed strands-which form the back dressing.
In this case the dressing must not stick out too far, so no pad should be used. The foundation must be divided into five or six strands, and each one French combed, then crossed above and below each other, according to taste, till they form a loose, light mass, something like a big plait.
Fig. 2. V-shaped fringe (slightly curled.)
This fringe is much smaller than the straight fringe, and has the ends slightly curled before they are turned under, with a faint wave across the fringe. It starts from the centre and lies in the middle of the forehead, in a parting, V-shape. As will be seen by the illustration (Fig. 2), this type of fringe looks charming with slightly waved hair, and demands a centre parting. A very pronounced Marcel wave would be too hard for this style, but waving on pins gives a moderately ondulee effect, which is just enough.
The front and side hair is arranged lightly, and quite full, the fringe meeting the hair on either side. Care must be taken not to leave a gap on the forehead.
A loose coil across the top of the head is a becoming finish to this coiffure (see Fig. 2), and a waved chignon, or a few large curls, would be the best way to dispose of the back hair.
Fig. 3. Curled fringe (with Pompadour dressing.) This fringe is rather more old-fashioned than the others, and only looks really nice with a waved Pompadour dressing. The fringe is thick, especially in the centre, and very much curled. It is lifted towards the sides to meet the Pompadour roll, and drops towards the centre of the forehead.
This style goes with any sort of back dressing, flat effects for preference, and can be worn with rather Marcel waving. It is not well suited to young girls, but is very becoming to older ladies, as it gives dignity and grace to the head.
Fig. 3. A curled fringe which requires a waved Pompadour dressing. The fringe should be thick, especially in the centre