Thursday, 15 March 2012

A braided updo

It’s very easy to fall into a trap of thinking that a special look is the only look for a certain period. Victory rolls is part of the forties look up to a point that one sometimes feel that every single woman sported them. That is not true, of course. My grandmother Greta never wore them, for example, she almost always wore her hair rather short and curly. After both Pimpinett and I mentioned the character Helga from Allo’ Allo’ in our posts about style icons, Kristina mentioned that she was thinking of getting some false hair to try to emulate her braided hairdo. That’s something I have been thinking about as well as that is a hairstyle that crops up here and there during the forties. At Beauty Is A Thing of the Past where I found this picture of it called “The Countess”, but I think Gretchen-braids is the most common name for it.

The hairdo is easy enough to make. The front is either parted in the middle of brushed back and then the hair is braided and wound over the back of the head like a coronet. If you have long hair, this is probably the easiest 40’s hairstyle to make. For the rest of us, a loose braid would do the trick. For your pleasure and inspiration, I have collected a couple of picture with variations of the same theme.

Hedy Lamarr

Linda Darnell

Source: via Elisa on Pinterest

This version doesn't seem to be braided but twisted like a rope.

Merle Oberon wear this hairtsyle, or versions of it, in several photos.

Not a braid here but a row of curls to the same effect.

The scary Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca wears it too.

Source: via Elisa on Pinterest

Simone de Beauvoir's hair is not braided, but the style is similar.

Source: via Elisa on Pinterest


Mim said...

Golly, Merle was beautiful. Every time I see a photo of her her eyes amaze me.

Atlanta said...

Great hairstyle inspiration! A 40s style that doesn't take pin curls. Nice. I'll have to experiment with this one!

Kristina said...

Oooooh lovely! Huge thank you!Now im obsessing about the braided style.... The braids seems to be equally sized all the way like a perfect crown, I'm guessing they are fake and now I only have to find the perfect hair and a way to braid it in with my own so that it does not show. Any ideas?

Tasha said...

I love seeing examples of hairstyles outside of what people think of as the "norm" for an era! And I love braids. :)

garofit said...

Love the hairstyle, and it gives hopes to those that haven't shortened their hair yet still strive for a vintage look.

Lina Sofia said...

Great post and great inspiration. I even went to the mirror and tried to braid my hair after reading this.... but no, it's far too short :( but maybe a fake braid is the answer! I shall go hunt for one now. x

Isis said...

Mim: I agree! She really was impossibly beautiful!

Atlanta: Indeed! I hope you get some nice results!

Kristina: Hmmm, I think it must be achiveable in several ways. Braided into one's own hair, yhough I guess you need to have some length for that. Hedy Lamatt and Linda Darnell looks like they have their hair in a rill with the ends of a the (fake?) braid tucked into. And I guess you could braid your own hair, pin it up and then pin a fake braid on top of it.

Isis said...

Tasha: Me too!

garofit: I don't think there eve were a period when EVERY woman cut her hair short. :)

Lina Sofia: My hair is much too short as well. I need to go and look for a suitable fake bread too!

Lithia Black said...

That's a very classic and romantic updo but I think most women need to get some fake hair if they want to achieve a braid that's so uniform in thickness.
I mean, I have ridiculous long, thick hair and not even mine will not make a braid that's uniform in thickness..

Edelweiss Patterns said...

How beautiful! Those are spectacular photos! Another leading lady who wore braided updos was Donna Reed in "Wondeful Life" (during the last scene). Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

I really need to try this out as well - I think it's fake braids all the way, unless you have phenomenally long, thick and even hair. I hade waistlength hair a couple of years ago and never got this style to work well; the braid got too thin and straggly towards the end, with ends sticking out all over the place, it didn't look right.

Remember former Ukrainian prime minister Julia Timoshenko? She actually seems to have had this done with her own hair, although I'm sure by a professional stylist.

Kristina and Isis, perhaps we should meet up, go to Taj Mahal to buy hair and have coffee at Citykonditoriet afterwards? I believe that's still the best place to buy artificial hair in Stockholm. They have exotic setting lotions and things, too.

Isis said...

Lithia: I'm sure you are right. And some of these braids are so very thick too. :)

Edelweiss Patterns: Thank you! Oh, I will have to google her and check out- thanks for the tip!

pimpinett: Yes, I remember her hair! She must have very thick braids to pull it off.

I think that's an excellent idea! A friend of mine visited Taj Mahal a couple of days ago and paid very little. Good to have company to get the colour right too. :) We will just have to find a good day for it.

Betty B said...

Now I want long hair again... I used to wear my hair like that as a kid sometimes. My mother called it (in Swedish) "Margareta-flätor".

Anyway, last time I went to the hairdresser she said that a bob is probably the best choice for me, so I'll try to put away my braid envy for now!

Isis said...

Betty B: A fake braid is the solution! I've just made one, but haven't had time to take any pics. :)

Clare said...

I love braids! When I had long hair, I used to do a style like this to keep it out of the way ... mine definitely didn't look this polished, though!

Kim Simon said...

Great hairstyle collection. . . .I'll try one of this. . .

Best Updo’s Tips for Prom

Isis said...

Clare: I suspect fake hair is easier to keep neat- no straggly ends. :)

Kim Simon: Glad you enjoyed the post!

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