The Eton Crop

Josephine Baker
Dark and Shiny

If you were a radical flapper in  the 1920s, you might have considered sporting an Eton crop, a very slick, short, dramatic haircut with a pasted down kiss curl on either side of the cheek.

Radical Eton Crop, worn by German photographer, Aenne Bierman

The Eton crop was considered a daring style as it was less feminine than the Marcel wave or conventional bob and very much a radical departure from the hairstyles of previous decades. It also exposed the ears and more of the head, so if your features were less than perfect there wasn't much left to soften them with, although it worked well with a cloche hat.

The Eton Crop looked great with boyish 20s fashions. Leatrice Joy circa 1920-22
Leatrice Joy
However, when it worked it was a sensational, highly stylized look, that required plenty of brilliantine and was worn to great effect by avant garde dancer Josephine Baker, darling of the trendy European  set and American silent film actress, Leatrice Joy.. 1930s cartoon character Betty Boop wore a kind of  softened, longer version of an Eton crop but her characteristic kiss curls are emblematic of the style.

"Eton cut' was a term coined by The Times in the UK, to draw a parallel between the boyish look of the radical flappers and the traditional hairstyle of public school boys.  The Eton cut reached it's zenith around 1927-'28 and then was swamped by the softer looks that would define hairstyles of the 30s.

Kiss curl queen, Betty Boop