21 August 2012

Redressing The Crown: Joanne Piéf | The Art of Braiding

Joanne Piéf presents an intriguing collection of hair braiding designs (or sculptures) entitled "Redressing The Crown". She alternates between calling herself a hair sculptress, braidologist, and hair designer. Joanne Piéf started braiding hair at the age of 11 and "Redressing The Crown" is the result of her developing fascination with hair braiding.

When asked about her hair journey and those of other women, Joanne explained saying, "We speak through our hair, consciously or unconsciously." Through her research into hair and braids, Joanne has discovered that contrary to popular belief, hair braiding transcends multiple cultures, and is not limited to women of African descent.

As indicated by the collection's title, "Redressing The Crown", Joanne Piéf aims to shift the general perceptions of braiding and how hair should be styled. Although one can easily dismiss hair styling as a personal preference that is irrelevant to culture, it seems that the styling of the crown holds much value in many cultural traditions. 

In an interview with Vogue, Joanne recalls braiding the hair of her family members as an activity done in private. In Ghana, women can get their braided in neighbourhood salons at very low prices. After being so accustomed the culture of hair braiding in Ghana, I can't help but be intrigued by Joanne Piéf's work. Understandably, the hairstyling of women of African descent has often been a culturally symbolic topic. Joanne's contributions to the dialogue provide a new twist and artistic portrayal of the subject.

via Vogue

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