Costume Wigs And Their Significance
Posted On March 23, 2022
Wigs have a recorded history of being worn since Egyptian and Phoenician times, where they were used to protect bald or shaved heads from the sun. History also tells us the Greeks, Romans and Assyrians wore them as status symbols.
In Asia wigs had performance significance as the Geisha, Noh and Kabuki dancers wore hairpieces. In many other cultures costume wigs have been an important part of the entertainment business. This practice continues on to this day.
The Meaning Of Wigs
Some costume wigs have such common use that their braided wig very appearance denotes a particular image or meaning to the general public. For instance:
· Cave Man: A bristly, large unkempt wig that signifies the Stone Age Man
· Greek or Roman: Piles of curls or braids, which for woman will be interwoven with pearls
· Medieval: For women the headdresses and veils will hide the hair; for men the war time hair will resemble the Stone Age man, with shocks of hair embedded with stones and blood.
· Victorian: This is always the white wig, with the women’s headdresses piled high upon their heads.
Twentieth Century Trends
In the mid-twentieth century it became popular to wear costume wigs for parties and for Halloween. People began to feel freer to dress up as good sport and to hold parties with the purpose of costuming. Costume wigs began to have a more general purpose of transforming one’s self into someone else, and they took on a more general purpose:
· Periwigs: Full or short British style powdered wigs, used to transform one’s self into old-fashioned British nobility.
· Afro wigs: Made from synthetic fabrics and available in all colors including rainbow-hued, these unusual wigs can be counted upon to make a transformation of a person and set a mischievous tone to a party.
· Dreadlock wigs: These have become extremely popular because of the wearing of dreadlocks by many popular bands, making it easy to take on their persona.
· Anime wigs: Brightly hued synthetic long-haired wigs, making it possible for a person to take on the persona of an anime character.
Today it has become more and more popular to wear costume wigs for dress-up events and the daring even wear them for effect to a formal party. Style has begun to dictate that wearing a wig is part of the style of the day. It is possible that we are on the cusp of a new period when it will again be in vogue to wear a very stylized wig as part of one’s formal dress for a big event.