Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hairstyles Worthy of an Oscar Nod

SINCE August, Ted Gibson has been campaigning on social media to get the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to award an Oscar for hair, a campaign that has gathered support from actresses like Ashley Greene and Jessica Chastain, who is nominated for best supporting actress for “The Help.”

 “When I’m acting, I prefer to play characters where I get to transform, and I do a lot of that through hair,” Ms. Chastain said. She wore wigs for “The Help” and “The Debt,” and said that most people don’t realize how hard hairdressers work to get wigs to look good. “There’s a lot of skill required to work with a wig.”
So, if the award had been in place throughout the history of the Oscars, which films does Mr. Gibson think would have deserved the gold statuette?

"The Show Off" (1926) starring Louise Brooks.
“The Show Off” (1926), starring Louise Brooks (it actually predates the first Oscars in 1929). “Women then weren’t wearing haircuts — they wore sets, waved hair,” he said, but her straight haircut with bangs to her cheekbones “changed the course of how women wear their hair, it introduced women to a new way of thinking.”
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961) starring Audrey Hepburn.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), starring Audrey Hepburn. “That little black dress would be nothing without that hair,” Mr. Gibson said. “It was a French twist. She was the first to have a streak — reminiscent of the ’60s — a big streak of blond in the brown hair.”

"Cleopatra" (1963) starring Elizabeth Taylor.

“Cleopatra” (1963), starring Elizabeth Taylor. “There were so many hair moments, tons,” he said, adding that this movie’s virtue was its variety. “This is where Bo Derek in ‘10’ got her braids from. She has a band ornate with gold. You really got who this woman of the Nile is, by basically her hair.”

"Rosemary's Baby" (1968) starring Mia Farrow.

“Rosemary’s Baby” (1968), starring Mia Farrow. “When Vidal Sassoon cut her hair off, it changed how women look at their hair. There have always been movies with women making a transition — whether she had a breakup like when Angela Bassett cut off her hair in ‘Waiting to Exhale’ — but at the same time with ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ it was a transformative moment. And it’s the pixie that Michelle Williams wears now.”

"Marie Antoinette" (2006) starring Kirsten Dunst

“Marie Antoinette” (2006), starring Kirsten Dunst. “The movie was terrible, but the costume, hair and makeup were so beautiful. But it was done by different people.” Costume design won an Oscar. However, all those edgy powdered wigs (and the visionary stylist behind them) deserved accolades too, he said, adding, “This isn’t special effects; this is down-and-dirty beauty that’s thought-provoking and emotional.”


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