|17th century engraving of a British actor, |
in character as 'Lord Foppington'.
Source: Wiki Commons
The word 'fop' was used way back in the 1600s as a pejorative term for men who appeared to be overly vain, putting too much emphasis on their clothes, hair and general appearance. As a handy term for a dandified peacock, it caught on, eventually finding its way into popular culture via fictional characters such as The Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro.
The Rococo period
Foppishness was applied particularly to the French Court of Louis XV and the dandified and effeminate fashions which emanated from that part of the world, particularly in the eighteenth century, when French style among the male upper classes dictated such fashionable accoutrements as elaborately curled powdered wigs, skirted embroidered coats, delicately frilled cuffs, pink stockings, stick-on beauty spots and lush fabrics such as satin, silk and velvet. This was known as the 'Rococo' or 'Late Baroque' period and it was a good time to be a fop if you were that way inclined.
|Prince - a modern fop. Source:Wiki Commons|
|Prince, wearing a classic fop. Source: Prince.org|
However, any gentleman's hairstyle which is obviously high-maintenance, *fussy* and suggestive of some serious preening in front of the bathroom mirror would qualify as foppish.
Fops care about their hair...alot
|Fabulous "Fop Hair Pomade' label designed by|
Ted Haigh for the film 'O Brother Where Art Thou?'
Some notable fop hair enthusiasts of the 20th and 21st century:
- Quentin Crisp
- Dirk Bogarde
- Paul Anka
- David Bowie
- Adam Ant
- Michael Hutchence
- Justin Beaver (yes, that's definitely a fop)
|David Bowie...quite foppish in this pic|
|Yep, definitely fop hair|
"We're not ashamed of a little make-up and hairspray. We've always said it takes a real man to wear make-up."~Brett Michaels, Poison