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Draw Your Own 18th Century Selfie with 'Design a Wig'

The V&A Museum brilliantly uses technology to make wigs that would make Marie Antoinette and Amadeus weep.
Screencap by the author

Much of art lies in self-expression and The Victoria & Albert Museum know this to be true having recently launched their Design a Wig tool that allows for your inner Marie Antoinette or Amadeus to get their regal on. It allows for the individual curation of an 18th century hairpiece that lets “you create and share your own hair-raising designs.” Part-social media activation, part-art history tour de force, the wig tool appeals to the thespian in all of us, allowing us to expand on the drama and glory of personal style from a historically rich period.


The site coincides with the recent re-opening of the V&A’s Europe 1600 – 1815 galleries. From the online experience, we learn quite a bit about the history of this bygone era and its grooming practices. The wigs were often made of human or horsehair and were styled and held in place with (!) pig fat. Some designs featured objects like a ship in full sail, feathers, flags, and flowered bouquets, while a scented powder, available in a variety of colors, made of flour set the hair creations to last over hours. These amazing hair creations defied gravity, predated dioramas and are the matriarchial lineage of today’s hair extensions, weaves, and wigs. Hail this obsessive flair maker and give yourself an hour break to create your own!

Check out some of our own designs below:

Visit the V&A Museum's Design a Wig here.


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