Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Blowdryer

Today I came across the shop window of 'New Bond', a shop hidden well in Alkiviadou str., Piraeus, just off Sotiros. It wasn't the dress that stopped me -even though I'm in desperate need for one for New Year's. It was the hairdryer. I love old hairdryers.Audrey Hepburn (my all time style idol) used to relax under one in between scenes, have a cigarette and conduct business with her agents, right there, under the dryer -as mentioned by Mark Shaw, the man who shot this picture back in 1953. Till this very day, it looks so avant garde, don't you think?
There are many suggestions as to who invented it. For Europe, it is being said that Alexander F. Godefoy came up with it in his salon in France, as early as 1890. For North America, some say it was Madame C. J. Walker around the same time. Oh well, congrats to whoever did it. I owe them a lot!

In any case, the first blowdryers were...the vacuum cleaners! That's right: from one side you could attach a hose and clean the floor and on the other, a different hose and dry your hair. It wasn't until the 1920's that the blowdryers hit the market. The first ones though were large and heavy and did not function exactly according to the needs of a stylish head. I mean look at it:
Much later, in 1973, Judy Garland would enjoy the process way more comfortably, having lunch and milk at the same time (??). (picture found here).I have sat under one of those. I remember my grandma had taken me to an old hair salon when I was little and I was fascinated by them. Them, and the red plastic ear covers she had to wear so she could stand the hot air for longer. In the end, I managed to get the hairdresser to put me under one, and she had to sit me on 3 pillows to get me to the right height. I was good as gold for the rest of the visit even though I nearly burned my 4-year-old hair.
Ah now this, I seriously wish I had: a portable hairdryer. It came out in the '60s as did many other very stylish gadgets. Shame they are not around anymore. Imagine doing your nails and chatting to your girlfriends whilst your hair is being nicely dried on its own...
This one looks more stylish. General Electric PLEASE BRING THEM BACK!
But not these. God no. Looks like this woman is trying to pull out her own eyeball. What were people at Ronson thinking?
Something similar to what the designers of this one must have thought: hot air is torture to your hair anyway, let's have a laugh! It really is a blowdryer, came across it at etsy.com. The user that's put it up for sale shares some lovely memories "You should see the bizarre wedding pictures our photographer got, our litte jr bridesmaids getting ready, holding this to their heads... oh my!". Oh my.
Anyways, this is what I want to buy now: a vintage hairdryer like this one. Some guy says he bought this '50s model for 18 USD and works great (http://www.vacuumland.org/). I am so jealous. I want one. Seriously, it is such a relaxing experience. And would look fab in my livingroom, just like it did in that window. Should have asked where they got it from (sorry dear brand new ceramic straighteners of mine!).
Even if it doesn't work, I could always turn it into something like this:

A vintage-pop touch looks good in every modern space. At least it would look good in my space. I think.

Anyway. Next post will be about what I'm changing the year in. Even if that ends up being my very stylish.. pyjamas! Wish me luck...

16 comments:

The Clothes Horse said...

I don't use blow dryers (I'm too lazy), but I think I would actually be terrified of them if I was there when they began as vaccums. Scary!

Alecca Rox said...

That's what I thought! Imagine accidentally using the wrong end!!:)

lopi said...

You have quite an obsession there! Like our dear clotheshorse, I don't use hair dryers either, even in the middle of winter. Too much fuss. But everything looks ten times better if it was designed in the 50's, so I completely sympathize with your obsession!
If it makes you feel better, I have found two 70's orange irons (the ones that iron clothes) to use as bookends, once I move to my new house in Athens. I can't wait to see how that will turn out!

Jasmina said...

cool post :ooo love the 3. pics x> so funny :>>

issa said...

i hardly ever blow dry my hair.. but i do love the look of the old ones.. they look so out of this world

tis serendipity said...

Wow what an interesting post! =) you know what, I've never actually gone under one of those blow dryers before! it's so strange because i see ladies using them all the time and yet my hair's always dried using the hand dryer even at the salon. I feel kinda eager to give it a shot on my next visit to the salon though. =)

have a very happy new year! heh the new year arrived with me in my pajamas too...

Juliet said...

Cute and mad! Happy new year 2009!

juliet xxx

HEK said...

Amazing pictures! The last one is so cool, I want it on my wall. Great post!

She's Dressing Up said...

Wow, the first hairdryers were insane! Great post =]

Krystal said...

haha, so cool!

Secretista said...

We used to have these in my house. You can find one in Sally's Beauty Supply stores! We went through two in house until my mom decided that a hand drier is easier; LOL!

Siska said...

what funny pics :D

Couture Carrie said...

I love old hair dryers too~ these are such fantastic pics!

coco said...

The second photo is one of my favourite fashion photos ever. There is something very charming about it.

Mimi said...

I don't use hair dryers, I did when I was older but it's too much work! haha but I am fascinated by the vintage ones, it's unbelievable that they started out as vacuums! That was an accident waiting to happen!

xo

Alecca Rox said...

(Dru from wewearthings had sent me a beautiful comment here, which I managed to make dissappear! so sorry dru, useless i am, plz resend:$)

lopi - can't wait to see how u decorate those orange irons! great idea;)

Secretista - I envy u! you had one of those at home??? Where;s Sally's Beauty Supplies???