Around the turn of the 20th century, women pursued two ideals when dressing their hair. The first was VOLUME. The second was CURLS. Even a cursory glance over photos, drawings, and other ephemera of the period shows lofty, complicated updos. Women labored carefully to achieve such styles, setting and curling their hair, teasing it up over rats to give it more height, adding hairpieces, etc., etc. Such hairstyles reached their popular apotheosis in the satirical and yet idealized sketches of Charles Gibson, creator of the Gibson Girl, whose look, at once haughty and casually tousled, bespoke an independent and athletic New Woman. In the same way that big hair of the late 1980s and early 1990s correlated with women’s increasingly large presence in corporation positions of power, so the big hair of a century earlier arguably connoted women’s agitation to take up more space in the world. Also it looked really cool.
As much as I love big hair from any period, I lament the difficulty of finding digital models of it. Therefore I’m glad to report that I just yesterday figured out how to construct a CGI Gibson Girl bouffant! I used two instances of goldtassel’s lovely Edwardian Hair for Gen1 and G2F. One I pushed beyond the limits of its morphs to achieve the correct voluminous silhouette; the other I used as fill. Jareth illustrates the results below.