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Part performance, and part identity, haircuts are magical configurations. They are the most ubiquitous, and intangible form of fashion there is. Everyone does something with their hair. It is combed, curled, coloured, cut, plaited, straightened, swept up, tied back, decorated, and shaved. Even when the choice is to do nothing, a definite sartorial statement is being made.
Anthropologically, head hair is treated as conceptually opposite to body hair. Women often cultivate their head and body hair in opposition to men and vice versa. Sociologically, long hair stands for social freedom or defiance, while short or covered hair is a sign of social regulation, obedience and conformity. And because the sexes often choose opposing hair strategies it may be a marker for gender and sexuality as well.
This project aims to freeze the fleeting and explore hair’s cultural properties, symbolic representations, regulations and rituals within the microcosm of a fashion school in Kolkata.