The much-awaited psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling is finally here, and the throwback hairstyles are to die for. Olivia Wilde’s second directorial endeavor stars Harry Styles and Academy Award-nominated actress Florence Pugh as a young married couple, Jack and Alice, living in a 1950s California suburb. When Alice begins to unravel certain narratives embedded in their utopian community known as the Victory Project, she reveals some disturbing truths from inside the collective.
On the outside, the housewives of Victory are always perfectly put-together and their midcentury-modern ‘dos were inspired by starlets of the era with voluminous curls and pixie cuts.
Head of the hair department, Jaime Leigh McIntosh told Vogue, “When designing a ’50s- and ’60s-inspired look, it can be very easy for styles to start looking mumsy, overly conservative, and a little drab. After reading the script and first speaking to Olivia, it was clear she wanted to make Victory a feast for the eyes—all the glamorous and sexy parts of the ’50s and ’60s without all the rigid, overly structured unflattering sides. She wanted the women to have a fun and a freedom to them and always look fabulous.”
Ahead of the film’s release, Wilde opened up on Instagram about how McIntosh changed her outlook on hair, specifically, wigs. “I have a fear of wigs. Maybe it’s because most of the time they’re bad bad bad and also painful. Maybe that’s just my whack wig experience,” she shared. Knowing the time period look would require wigs, she needed to tap “the best” person for the job, McIntosh.
“She does WAY more than just wigs of course. She was a master of making the most natural, exquisitely undone perfect dream hair on our super star, @florencepugh who is almost the only actress NOT wearing a wig in the entire film, along with the amazing @sydneychandler,” Wilde wrote.
To find inspo, Wilde and McIntosh “poured over mountains of research.” Wilde wrote they were “getting giddy over inspiration that ranged from Brigitte Bardot to Mia Farrow to Rita Hayworth to Jane Russell to Betty Page, and beyond.”
“I learned more about the variations of the color red than I ever thought possible,” Wilde continued. “[McIntosh] and her team performed miracles (including fitting a wig on my gigantic fivehead, and keeping a bow in Flo’s hair during a high speed car-chase) and created an entire world of hair that informed (and transformed) characters, and painted the film with absurdly gorgeous color and texture. Jaime also has an unbeatable vibe: unflappable, even when the director won’t stop moving long enough to fix her damn wig cap. Jaime, you’re a superhero. Thank you for being the coolest while being so effortlessly brilliant. Here is a small taste of the results of your incredible work.”
See which throwback styles inspired the women of Victory in Don’t Worry Darling.
Florence Pugh as Alice
McIntosh cited 1950s French blonde bombshell Brigitte Bardot as the inspiration behind Alice’s wispy, effortlessly tousled layers (which didn’t require a wig). McIntosh explained to Pop Sugar, “We knew that we wanted to use Florence’s hair because she has a gorgeous head of hair. She was already light, so we just adjusted her hair color a little. [Her hair] holds the curls so well and bounces beautifully.”
“Every time I strayed from Bardot or tried to find some other type of reference, we always just ended up going back to Bardot,” McIntosh said. “And then we found all the gorgeous little accessories that would kind of pop against her blond hair. We just had so much fun with it.”
Known for her voluminous half updos, Bardot’s face-framing bangs, thick black headbands, and little black bows worn in her golden tresses became her signature.
McIntosh told Vogue, “The use of black accessories—such as the beautiful wide, tie-at-the-tip housework headband; her simple black ballet headband; and, of course, her signature Alice black velvet bow that we see whipping around in the wind throughout the final chase scenes—created a wonderful contrast against Florence’s blonde. We wanted the styles to move, bounce, and look effortlessly sexy.”
Olivia Wilde as Bunny
For director Olivia Wilde’s character Bunny, the hair department wanted the color of her mane to match her fiery spirit. McIntosh teamed with wig maker Robert Pickens to create a handful of red shades to find the right one and shared “the journey of a wig,” on Instagram which documented each step.
Her perfect, voluminous pin curls were inspired by Bette Davis and Gilda starlet Rita Hayworth.
McIntosh told Vogue, “We wanted the beautiful period-specific wave and structure but also wanted to make sure that the wig still had plenty of movement and bounce.”
Kiki Layne as Margaret
For KiKi Layne‘s character Margaret, McIntosh told beauty TikToker Cat Quinn, that she wanted “sexy, beautiful, bounce, and body from the 1950s and 1960s.” After looking through iconic fashion magazines and Playboy Bunnies for inspiration, the hair department decided to look to Bettie Page’s trademark micro bangs for Margaret’s look.
Sydney Chandler as Violet
As the only other star not wearing a wig (besides Pugh), Sydney Chandler’s character Violet embodies the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, and Mia Farrow with her wispy, ultra-cropped pixie cut and to-the-sky-lashes.
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