Saturday, 15 January 2011

Making Wigs from Newspaper!

This Christmas we passed on Christmas trees and tinsel and instead went for something a litte - no, actually a lot - more creative. Inspired by the towering wigs of the 18th century, Friends of Bettie's Gloria rose to the challenge of making some window displays out of newspaper wigs on polystyrene and plaster heads. Move over kindergarten glue and glitter, this was serious playtime!

The key to making newspaper act like hair, is to understand the shapes and silhouettes of the original hairstyles. Where padding and wire was needed, we did this first to create substance (bubble wrap or scrunched up Sunday supplements), and then could add the decorative rolls, waves and finer details that made the finished wig ready for feathers, beads, flowers, and for the largest one of our set, birds and a top display platform!

This larger one was covered in silver paper to create a more "powdered" look finish, but for each of the others, a combination of The Times and Daily Mirror did just fine as they were. The newspaper effect worked so well that it seemed a shame to spay or paint them, particularly as that would have obscured the wonderful skill Gloria had used in getting the newspaper to do exactly what she wanted.

Many of the decorations came from our stock of bits and bobs from previous film and video shoots, most notably, the paper roses from the Marie Antoinette inspired Black Kids' music video, I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You which Sharon designed a couple of years ago.

The overall effect was quite splendid and we're reluctant to remove them from the Vintage Hair Lounge windows just yet, although we do have a number of competing offers from clients who'd like to give them a new lease of life as stand-out home decorations, so they certainly won't be going in the bin. And for a short while longer they can still be seen at Vintage Hair Lounge, 118 High Street, Southampton SO14 2AA.

Many thanks to Charli Edwards at for the fantastic stills photographs.

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