You may remember my initial posting of deadly hot fashion trends, well here is the sequel. Just for the record, I hate history… oh that was sarcasm by the way!
Are you willing to die in the name of fashion? Sounds a bit extreme. I’ll stick to my jeans and tshirt thanks…
If you were a proper lady in the 17th or 18th century in France you wore a head dress that consisted of ribbons, lace and sometimes a small cap that interwined with the ladies hair. Doesn’t seem like the type of thing that could plot murder on you, does it?
As fashion progessed in the 17th century and the “bigger is better” mentality came into play, well so did the fontage. It became larger and larger until women had entire ecosystems attached to their skulls. Just makes you want to stroke your fingers through her hair, doesn’t it?
HOW COULD IT KILL YOU??
When left alone and unprovoked, the fontage probably only maimed, but never actually killed anyone. It’s only when you attach the head dress to a lady, and said lady would move around in a room full of candle chandeliers that the fontage would demonstrate its malicious powers as everything was flamable, VERY flamable. So flamable in fact, the ladies probably would of been safer walking around wearing petrol soaked rags on their heads.
Just ask “Mrs. von Ilten”, who suffered “burnt face, neck and arms”, because as the reported at the time casually stated, “her fontage caught fire, she stared and fell and did not think to throw it off – as I used to do”.
I’m going to at least give the good Mrs. von Ilten enough credit to say she screamed and squealed a bit before it started melting away at her flesh.
WHAT THE EFF WERE THEY THINKING??
According to legends, one of the kings favourite paramours (for those of you wondering that is middle-English for f*&! buddies), Angelique de Fontanges, lost her riding cap one day whilst out riding horses with the king. Not wanting to let her hair fall freely because god forbid – that could be dangerous!! She took a piece of ribbon and tied it to her hair.
The king liked it so much, he made Angelique a dutchess!! (This king had some kinky fetishes, clearly!). All of France’s upper class women wanted to be just as cool as Angelique, and so a trend was born. Never mind the fact that Angelique de Fontanges died at the age of 20 – probably from standing to close to a candle with her decorative, combustible head.
I have very little hope left for humans. ha ha!
I’ve mentioned this before in a post when our blog was really still an infant, but lets go back to it anyway! Before the age of big name cosmetics, yes Sandy our beloved MAC, Inglot, Sephora and NYX were not yet born 😉 the easy, breezy, beautiful way to apply makeup was to smear your face with lead! That’s right, LEAD. The makeup of choice from people of ancient Greece and all the way up to the 1920’s was a lead-base powder or lotion that rendered faces white and turned their bloodstream into something that would make a vampire puke, never mind garlic – go with lead based products hahahaa!
HOW COULD IT KILL YOU??
Well, in case you didn’t know – lead poisioning is S L O W killer… So it would take years for people to accumalate enough lead in their bodies to die from it. But once they had, there was little someone could do apart from melt them down and make some more makeup from them – sis Fi!
The major symptoms of lead poisioning were many, and it would attack the entire body with some of the major symptoms such as brain damage; wrecking the nervous system; headaches; loss of apetitie; anemia; a constant metallic taste in the mouth; paralysis; insomnia; and oddly enough a limp wrist – STOP LAUGHING – I’m serious!
WHAT THE EFF WERE THEY THINKING??
People actually became aware of the health risks associated with lead makeup in ancient Greece — that is more than 2000 years ago. The ancient Greeks would ridicule people who wore excessive amounts of lead makeup. Both men and women wore makeup, and as a result their faces became more and more damaged and guess what, to hide it they wore even more lead makeup. Ironic? More like metallic.
Maybe this was natural selection at work here? hahaha.
THE STIFF HIGH COLLAR
I’m talking about a specific high collar, not what your preist will wear if you are a Catholic, please do not tell him his collar is going to kill him. The high, detachable collar that was really popular in the 19th century. The collar was always white and was fastened to the queen’s (feck! I mean the gentleman’s) shirt with studs. For some reason, none of this was considered at all gay at all; even though one of the biggest queens at the time was Oscar Wilde – and he actually was gay. And he probably used man studs to fasten the collar to his shirt – hahahaaha STOP THAT FI!
Anyway, back to the collars. They were starched until they were almost bullet proof, and jutted right into your windpipe. What could possibly go wrong?
HOW IT COULD KILL YOU?
The detachable collar was a quiet, stubborn assassin. By cutting off circulation, it could creep up to a man in his drunken sleep and choke him to death when his head fell forward – I’m sure it wasn’t his wife… It was the collar damnit! By cutting off circulation it could lead to an abscess on the brain, or in cases of indigestion that lead to the neck swelling it could simply strangle its prey. One very unlucky man toward the end of the 18th century was almost guillotined on his collar when he tripped getting out of a street car.
WHAT THE EFF WERE THEY THINKING?
In several European languages, like German, Danish and Dutch – the stiff, detachable collar was playfully referred to as “VATERMODER” which translates to Father Muderer. Incredibly, the cute catchy name didn’t put anyone off buying the collars… The men at the time really saw a connection between the rectness of the neckline and sexual virility.
Rather quaint and ridiculous in my opinion, and its still believed today. Don’t believe me? How many boys do you see walking around with “popped collars“…. Every time I see them with their Ed Hardy shirts and popped collars, I wanna slap them… GRRR!