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My last trivia question went unanswered:-

"What famous philosopher's skull was found to be missing in 1819 when his coffin was opened nearly two centuries after his death? (Hint: the skull itself, now found, has had an interesting history all its own)"

The answer was Descartes, as in Cartesian Philosophy. I highly recommend the book 'Descartes' Bones' by Russell Shorto, which details not only the philosopher's life, but the meandering journey of his body after death and the spread of his ideas up to the modern era. It's a fascinating read, and far more entertaining than one would expect.

Let's return to questions of fashion with this next one, shall we?

Some Victorian mothers, frustrated by their daughters' attempts to loosen (or altogether escape from) their corsets at night during corset-training, took to doing this to prevent them being able to untie themselves.


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Italian Renaissance Hairstyles

In keeping with my last post on Italian Renaissance costume I thought we would take a look at something we didn't touch much on; hairstyles. They were extremely varying; up and down, braided, netted, entwined with silks and ribbons, even pearls, and, of course, dyed, bleached, and curled. The only thing in somewhat short supply seems to be hats, and really who would want to cover up what you had spent so much time constructing?

Occasionally a small cap, or scuffia, was worn either with side curls, or with most of the hair stuffed up underneathe:-

Another notable hair decoration was the reta, or hairnet. Some of these were beaded, some woven in decorative patterns, and some left very simple.

Under and around these ornamentations, or even without them, hair was often braided or crimped.
There was the simple modesty of a veil, if you felt the need to cover up... Or, if blending into the background wasn't your thing, there were big turbans, or simply huge ones. 

And, of course, the…


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