At a runway show, the beauty looks are often based on a singular idea, which each model—despite race or hair type—is transformed to fit. So this season, it’s been refreshing to see so many designers embracing personality and individuality instead.
This shift is most apparent in the hair—for example, backstage at Alexander Wang there were girls with curly shags, sleek strands, bowl cuts and everything in between. We saw a similar variety of styles at Brother Vellies, where stylists were instructed to make the models look like they did their hair themselves. And natural texture took center stage at Tibi, Prabal Gurung and Opening Ceremony, too.
Backstage at Prabal, hairstylist Paul Hanlon told us that for him, the movement brings to mind the fashion weeks of the ‘90s, when models like Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell.
stood apart from one another on the runways. “It was all about the women. I think there’s a bit more of that now—it’s less about making clones,” he said.
Hanlon credits one collection in particular for inspiring the trend. “When I did Nicolas’ [Ghesquière] first show for Louis Vuitton, there was something quite pivotal that he did in beauty that I think a lot of people are just starting to recognize now. What he did was, he took girls for who they are. So rather than saying, ‘I’m going to celebrate one woman,’ he said, ‘I’m going to celebrate 40 different woman.’ I think it’s great.”
The spring 2016 New York Fashion Week saw some braids (Mara Hoffman); a lot of natural texture (Alexander Wang); a bit of sleek, smooth hair (Hugo Boss); and a few great ponytails. But the mane look that really took over the season was something refreshingly new and different: knots.
And no, we don’t mean topknots, aka buns. We mean literally tying the hair in knots. It’s cool and chic without trying too hard.
Hairstylist James Pecis was behind many of them — from Creatures of the Wind to Ryan Roche. We caught up with him about the trend backstage at J. Mendel, where he was leading the team for Beauty.com using PHYTO.
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“I’ve done a lot of tying the hair. I braid so much and I got bored of braiding, so we’re trying to do a looser, easier version of that,” said Pecis. Other shows like Lela Rose, Nicholas K and Edun also featured versions of hair tying. “Especially for New York you want that ease for everything, and what’s easier than like, ‘I just do not give a fuck, I’m going to tie my hair in a knot,’ you know?”
Though the runways are still far from being truly diverse, it’s certainly a step in a promising direction.