Prada and Gucci have brought back hair accessories in a big way. Forget what you think you know about their preppy past, and inject a bit of rock and roll into your hair this season.
I have a slightly triggering relationship with hair bands. They remind of me of that painful time in my life when I was growing out a fringe. As a child I had thick, mop-like bangs that my mum would cut, leaving me with what I called “aeroplane wings” - wonky flicks of hair on either side of my face. Growing that fringe out with the help of a navy hair band from Boots felt like a torturous eternity in which my forehead seemed to grow ever larger each time I looked in the mirror. It also coincided with my period arriving - it wasn’t an easy time.
Yet, I’m re-evaluating my entire stand thanks to Miuccia Prada. At her SS/19 show (pictured above), she sent every one of her 50 models down the catwalk wearing a satin headband, in a plethora of shades, while Miu Miu went all out bejewelled. Prada wasn't they only one; hair accessories made a comeback across the board. Emilia Wickstead showcased model’s hair in ribbons (pictured below) and Gucci’s logo tortoiseshell clip has sparked a thousand knock-offs.
And while I’ve spied many an influential Instagrammer sporting a clip with their own name - a la Gucci - I think we should take these messages a step further, adding a bit of politics and punk to the once-prim accessory. How about “Alexandria Ocasio Cortez” (a bit long?) or “Warren 4 President”? Or “Europe, I love you”, perhaps? Ashley Williams’ diamanté clips are already there, spelling out “Witch” and “Fuck” and are currently top of my wish-list. A punchy message might help undo some of the Head Girl connotations (pun unavoidable). At school, hair accessories (that weren’t used for the purpose of eliminating badly cut bangs) were worn by girls who rode horses and still pulled up their white socks way past an acceptable age. This time round, stay away from twee and go for black ribbon or bold colours and statements. It’s feminine but fun and bold, not proper and pretty.
And there’s a reason that jazzy hair clips and hair bands have become spring’s most adopted trend and that’s because it’s so damn easy to pull off. They won’t cost you the earth and will dramatically update an outfit, especially in time for wedding season. Furthermore, on the high street they will cost you less than a week’s coffee budget. Plus, if you’re not prepared to go full exaggerated hairband, you can dip your sartorial toe in - a clip or a slither of ribbon is subtle, easy and a nod to those in the know. Here are some of my favourites...
Ashley Williams, Transparent 'Witch' Hair Clip Set, £100, ssense.com
Sophie Buhai, Braided velvet and satin headband, £212, net-a-porter.com
Accessorize, mixed resin rectangle hair slides, £6, accessorize.com
Miu Miu, Bow-detailed satin, silver tone and crystal headband, £350, net-a-porter.com
LELET NY, Embroidered satin hair tie, £65, net-a-porter.com
Anthropologie, Morgan Floral-Print Headband, £28, anthropologie.com
Main image credit: Christian Vierig Getty Images