Before The Beehive

maxresdefaultCan you remember a time before you wore latex clothing? Maybe even those years you were unaware of what a catsuit was, or hadn’t yet found the connection between the ways certain wardrobe pieces made you feel about yourself. For that which becomes second nature to us, a bubbling and budding desire soon writ large across our lives, we’d be hard pressed to think of a time before we didn’t wear the clothes or engage in the activity that gives us meaning.

This is true to in the case of that which is ubiquitous in society. It’s hard to imagine a time when a certain song wasn’t a radio staple, or your favorite T.V. show wasn’t on the air. Somethings just seem to be such a time worn product of and in the fabric of life, it’s hard to imagine a time before their existence.

And really, do we want to imagine it…there were those years before you even stepped into a comic convention, now can you imagine not going in your cosplay?

While you might be too young to ever have worn it, the beehive hairdo became one of those staples of modern society, certainly where women’s hair styling and fashion was concerned. One could easily argue that Margaret Vinci Heldt’s hairstyle invention-some would say revolution-became such a staple of hair styling that it was worn as much for the style of the day, as later for some good-natured mocking, and further for homage.

Heldt, who died this week at the age of 98, opened her own salon and had the Cosmetologists Chicago organization name a scholarship for her, created the towering conical woman’s hair style for a hair styling magazine in 1960, called her invention “the beehive” and quickly saw starlets and politician’s wives sport the do well into the decade…and beyond. Supposedly inspired by a black velvet hat the lady stylist found one night when working late as her family slept, Heldt built the hair in a wrap-around conical style creating what the magazine at the time called, “a circular silhouette with high-rise accents.”

And if you think the beehive a creature only of the decade it was created, take a look at Amy Winehouse, or Marge Simpson for an example of how Margaret Vinci Heldt’s creation survived the years.


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