If you want a jump-start on the hairstyles we’ll be wearing next season, look no further than the runways of New York, London, Milan, Paris and London. With London Fashion Month – gynaikeia royxa – finally over, it gives us a chance to step back and reflect on the good, the bad and the never-gonna-happen hair trends that some of the best pros from around the world gathered to create.
Among the stand-out looks was the Marie Antoinette-meets-Marge Simpson sky-high curls featured at Thom Browne, the hippy pirate twists created by Sam McKnight backstage at Ashish and the ultra embellished plaits sprinkled with pearls at Andrew GN.
As for trends, shower-fresh strands were seen at multiple shows including Balmain, Versace and Salvatore Ferragamo. Simple centre partings kept hair seeming insouciant at Chanel, JW Anderson and Bottega Veneta. And, sleek, expensive-looking hair reigned supreme at Victoria Beckham and Oscar De La Renta.
Pearl hair accessories is a new trend?
Well… not exactly. We’ve seen pearly Alice bands go stratospheric thanks to Simone Rocha. Chanel broke the internet with its pearl-studded logo hair brooch at the start of last year and Justine Marjan, celebrity stylist and purveyor of truly delicious hairstyles, declared pearls the hair accessory of 2019.
But, pearly accessories are getting more casual and spontaneous going forward. In their spring summer 20 collections, designers Andrew Gn and Alice + Olivia put forward the case for scattering pearls throughout hair, rather than relying on one accessory for the upcoming season. The inspiration? It was the likes of Justine (who, incidentally, created the look at Alice + Olivia) and other taste makers like her who got the ball rolling by posting pretty pearl-speckled styles to Instagram.
Just last month, Lucy Boynton won the Oscars red carpet with a choppy, modern bob, complete with a pearl encrusted deep side-parting. While at New York Fashion week earlier this month, designer Jonathan Cohen kept the trend alive in his Autumn Winter collection, showcasing the trends for the end of this year. It spells a second wind for the nation’s favourite hair embellishment.
Just like a pair of whopper door-knocker earrings, pearl-scattered hair has the potential to elevate an otherwise casual outfit, meaning it’s not just destined for the catwalk or the red carpet. The perfect blend of high-low, it works just as beautifully with a T-shirt, blazer and jeans combo as with a frou-frou ball gown (like Lucy Boynton’s).
Granted, pearl-speckled hair involves a bit more faff than an embellished clip or headband, but Lucy’s own stylist, Jenny Cho, took to her Instagram to share how it’s done. You will need a sheet of self-adhesive pearl stickers, and some strong-hold gel (Jenny favour’s Gorilla Snot, if you’re interested), to lock them into place.
How to wear the new hair trend?
Here’s a little pearl of wisdom: Jewellery always looks about 10 times as chic when it’s woven through the hair. And when that jewelry is a few strands of what could be a family heirloom, the look is both an homage to the past and an irreverent wink at it.
For Khaite’s spring 2020 show, hairstylist Eugene Souleiman gave models a demure center part, then braided thin sections of hair and attached a strand of pearls to each. The effect was feminine and dreamy, but hardly pure — it was the look of a woman who had taken Grandmother’s pearls for a night on the town. Other designers, like Alice & Olivia and Jonathan Gn, studded models’ hair with pearls, both with uniform sizing and spacing and with whimsical randomness and varying circumferences.
Wearing pearls in one’s hair doesn’t require an all-or-nothing approach, however. Lucy Boynton wore a simple line of pearls in her part for the Oscars. Meanwhile, Paul & Joe’s spring 2020 presentation proved a simple pearl barrette or headband makes a mighty impact — and brands are happy to provide the hair accessories that will allow you to turn runway inspiration into a real-life look.
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