Braids are to beauty what denim is to fashion — a classic staple that gets recycled and redone almost every single season. But during NYFW F/W ‘22, hairstylist were taking the typical plaits to new heights. Whether it was as an accent to a more involved hairstyle, as was the case at Brandon Maxwell, or a topsy-turvy take, like the braids at Dauphinette, these plaits had range. And unlike a lot of braided updos that are typically sent down the runway, these looks are easy to, well, do at home.
Case in point: Hardware LDN. Lead hairstylist Matthew Curtis gave a handful of the models a slicked-down crown with a center part. “It’s a strong look from the front and a bit party in the back,” Curtis said in an interview.
That party? A collection of cascading twists and braids down a handful of models’ backs. The hair was sectioned off and then tied into ponytails. Curtis then twisted and braided each section and secured it with a clear elastic. To keep the entire plait sleek and frizz-free, he went over them with a flat iron, pressing the iron over each braid for added shine. It’s a fun, edgy take on a typical twist.
If the braids at Hardware LDN looked like something out of the Matrix, then the take at Dauphinette was straight from CBGB. “We’re going for a punk-inspired grunge look,” said Oribe lead stylist Mandee Tauber. For the braids, Tauber actually pulled inspiration from Bjork. She split the hair into four equal-sized sections before spritzing the hair down with Oribe’s Maximista Thickening Spray. She then Dutch braided each section and tied it off. Instead of just leaving the plaits to hang, Tauber flipped the two front sections up and pinned them right in front of the ears for a modern take on Heidi braids.
Brandon Maxwell’s F/W ‘22 show was an ode to his Mammaw, and her influence was seen in both the clothes and the hair. Lead stylist Jawara created a twisted chignon bun at the nape of the neck that was accented with a gorgeous black velvet ribbon.
The hair was center-parted and slicked down, so it looked polished and predictable from the front. But from the crown of the head down to the top of the chignon, Jawara worked in a tiny braid. It was the perfect little surprise that turned a typical updo into something extra-special, proof that this seemingly typical hairstyle can sometimes be a little unexpected. As they say, everything old is new again — and this season, that includes braids.