Thursday, October 7, 2010



Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (1873 – 1954), or simply Colette, was a famous French writer. The author of “Gigi”, “The Vagabond”, “Cheri” and other novels is well-known for her novels and short stories on the French life of La Belle Epoque. But she was also the owner of a 1,58 m long plait (“long enough to lower a bucket down a well…“) until she cut it off at the age of 29.

This is a famous photo of her at fifteen with her two blond braids swirling around her like “whips”. This photograph here shows her at about twenty (1893). when she moved to Paris as the wife of Henri Gauthier-Villars - a morose provincial schoolgirl with a long golden braid flapping at her heels. Seven years later her first “Claudine” novel was published.

Colette as a young woman dressed in Renaissance costume. She liked to let her hair flowing down a brocade dress. For a woman often means a change of her hairstyle a change in her life. When Colette decided to cut her magnificent hair in the autumn of 1902, she pioneered the fashion for short hair that was to cause a revolution. And she lived the revolution after the divorce of her husband as a dancer at the variety in the circle of her scandalous friends: among of them the well-known Nathalie Barney, the Polaire, even Mata-Hari. And Evalina Palmer, a childhood friend of Nathalie Barney.


Salzanos said...

my hair used to reach to my hips as a teen. I had a 19 inch waist at 16. Time changes all things huh! Good read!

JANN said...

Love this post Patti. My kind of interest :) I always adore old vintage stuff like this, what cool hair Colette had.

Thank you Patti for the lovely ATCards you sent me. Your a very talented artist and superbly done work.
Trying to get some of my art to you too. Thanks again sweet lady for having this fun art swap. YOUR one of my fav artists and friend.
Happy Boo Season to you !

slommler said...

Great post and wonderful history lesson. Wow! Her hair was amazing!
Mine is real short right now. Short and edgy!!

Lydia said...

Such interesting info you gather. Her hair was sooo long.

We had an old Russian woman friend of the family, named Olga Timofaevna. She was born sometime in the late 1800's, and wore braids. She would wash her hair once a month. Every morning she would rewrap the braids up into a bun. Those long, gray braids were well past her hips. She must have been under 5'tall.She would visit us for a few days at a time, and cook yummy Russian food...kind of like a Russian auntie to my Mom, guiding her etc..