When creating this photograph of a hairdresser's shop window, Eugène Atget documented the fashionable pompadours and upsweeps of the period as well as the popular plunging necklines and draping shawls. This establishment offered a wide variety of hairstyling services from cutting to dressing and a selection of wigs, both full and partial. To make the shop's services and wares more alluring, the mannequins wear elaborate cosmetics and filmy, delicate fabrics.
Beginning in the mid-1800s, when haute couture first appeared, Paris dictated the chic mode in women's styles. Fashion plates and journals throughout Europe and America illustrated French garments and accessories. Although Atget specifically avoided photographing subjects associated with fashion and individual display, this composition reveals his fascination for how shopkeepers exhibited their wares.