Forget adult coloring books. London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has created the curiously addicting, stress-busting Design a Wig interactive that allows you to create 18th-century hairpieces that would make Marie Antoinette swoon.
Towering 18th-century hairdos were built up with padding and hair pieces made out of human or horse hair, pasted in place with pig fat, and dusted with colored flour. The V&A interactive allows you to sculpt plumes of gravity-defying hair for a demure seated lady; decorate the hairpiece with feathers, bows, flowers, and other embellishments; and finish it off with a puff of colored powder—while a historically accurate paper cone appears on screen to shield the face. (While this is a lady’s hairstyle, you can powder your wig in a small palette of colors that includes this year’s gender-neutralizing Pantone 2016 combo of baby pink and pastel blue.)
The enticing part of this amusing little design history exercise lies is the endless possibilities of all that hair, which looks it’s being squeezed out like exhaust from a tailpipe or toothpaste from a tube—and once in place like a mass of clouds can be parsed for subliminal shapes. (I spotted a Jean Paul Gaultier bustier, an owl, a male torso, and faces with hands-covered eyes in mine.)
The fun starts here.