Chhandak Pradhan_Fashion_Frozen_hairstyle_youth_India_typology.jpg



A typology of hairstyles of students studying at the Calcutta campus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology

Part performance, and part identity, hair is the most ubiquitous, fleeting, and yet symbolic form of fashion there is. It is combed, curled, coloured, cut, plaited, straightened, swept up, tied back, decorated, braided, plucked, waxed, or shaved. Even when the choice is to do nothing, a definite statement is being made. Based on gender, space, and time, hair’s characteristics may signify freedom, defiance, conformity or obedience. Sexes often choose opposing hair strategies and conceptually head hair gets treated opposite to body hair.

Inspired by Victorian post-mortem photographs, this project explores hair’s symbolic representations, and rituals within the microcosm of a fashion school in Calcutta.

keywords: hair, typology, youth, portrait, fashion, identity, gender, India, photography
Biddle-Perry, Geraldine, and Sarah Cheang. Hair: Styling, Culture and Fashion. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.
Klanten, Robert. Hair'em Scare'em. Edited by S. Ehmann and M. Hubner, Die Gestalten Verlag, 2009.
Philippon, Laurent. Hair: Fashion and Fantasy. Thames & Hudson, 2013.