London Fashion Week is always the ideal time to catch up on all the trends taking over the beauty world, and this season was all about the hair. Here’s what Rachel Parker learned about the new styling crazes having their moment on the catwalk.
Forget complicated millinery and accessories: the latest trend in headwear is sculptural hair design. At the Burberry show, models wore their hair gelled into intricate curlicues across their foreheads. Inspired by Art Nouveau patterning, these flapper-style headbands complimented the more traditional eveningwear aspects of the collection, while gel and strong eyebrows added a tougher streetwear edge. Hair gel was also evidently in considerable supply at JW Anderson. Stylist Anthony Turner used vats of product and a fine-toothed comb to carefully sculpt models’ hair into Lego-inspired helmets that swirled around their skulls, with the remaining hair pulled back into tight knots.
Hair clips were all over the catwalks this Fashion Week – from the elegant pearl slides at Ryan Lo to the glittering clips in messy beehives at Ashish. The show was stolen by Ashley Williams’ rhinestone hairpins, which covered the backs of models’ heads to spell out words such as ‘Books’, ‘Void’ and ‘Delete’. British designers aren’t the only
ones embracing the alphabet clip look, with designers such as Gucci releasing their own line of logo diamante hair accessories. Meanwhile, it wasn’t just the models sporting this particular trend at LFW. London Runway’s Chief Editor Rhiannon spotted audience members wearing glittery word hairclips at several shows, revealing that this trend has already found its footing off the runway.
At Molly Goddard, the models’ hair was twisted back into sleek low ponytails and twisted with black jersey bands to create a boyish, utilitarian look. Paired with smudgy black kohl eyes and fresh skin, this look would be quick to replicate and has an effortlessly cool appeal. Likewise, the Gayeon Lee show saw laid-back ponies and low buns paired with hair scarves and ribbon fastenings, complimenting the sophisticated simplicity of the collection. Loose low ponytails were also on the catwalk at Markus Lupfer and Victoria Beckham. It looks like casual and relaxed styles will be on trend throughout the new season – good news for any of us who just want an extra ten minutes in bed.
While one fashion contingent was enjoying the laid-back low-pony look, another was testing just how high hair can go. Gareth Wrighton experimented with hair piled in concentric knots and set boltupright for his Fashion East presentation, spraying the creations with bright colours for more futuristic fun. Paul Costello was all about the textured top-knots, while at the Livia Tang presentation, we saw gravity defying space buns and upswept fringes. Finally, Zandra Rhodes paired crimped and sculpted up-dos with Bowie-inspired makeup and feathered hair accessories, imbuing her collection with a signature air of quirkiness.
Put away the John Freida – it looks like this season, frizz is on trend. Yes, you heard that right: the battle with fly-aways is over. Stylist Chiao Shen maximised frizz at the Jamie Wei Huang, styling messy windswept locks into an asymmetric design. Meanwhile, Alex Brownsell created fuzzy haloes around relaxed ponytails for the Alexachung show by rubbing models’ heads with a balloon and setting with hairspray for a carefree and effortless effect. Elsewhere, brushed-out curls and matted waves showed that this season, texture is everything.
The pastel dip-dye may have had its moment back in 2015, but the Mary Katrantzou show resurrected the look to compliment the coral, peach, lilac and blue shades that characterised her AW19 collection. Colourist Josh Wood created candycoloured waves – dubbed ‘colour clouds’ – using textured extensions which were hand painted to imitate the spectrum of hues visible on the horizon at sunset. Styled into loose, grungy waves and finished with simple hair grips, this would be an ideal festival look for minimum upkeep and maximum impact.
The Mark Fast show took inspiration from the glitz of Old Hollywood, blending pastel hued make-up with some very 1950s hairstyles. Pincurls, victory rolls and sleek bobs all had their moment in the spotlight, updated for 2019 with some messy and asymmetric styling. Ryan Lo also embraced the Mid-Century vibes, with bouncy waves and quiffs featuring heavily at his show. Meanwhile, the stylist at Richard Quinn juxtaposed delicately plaited hair pulled into low chignons with exaggerated centre-parted fringes, playing with 50s and 60s references to create a look which was at once demure and arresting.
The natural look was taken to a whole new level at Renata Brenha, with several looks accessorised by head pieces sculpted from foliage. Large mossy crowns and tendrils of succulents all made an appearance in the collection. The designer has been outspoken on issues of sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry, and the styling at her AW19 presentation took an interest in plant-based and upcycled materials quite literally.