Easy, natural hair might've been the top trend at New York Fashion Week this season, but it's a totally different story over in London. There, the Victorian vibes are reigning supreme. Braided buns, intricate chignons, and regal updos have become the unexpected hairstyle trends of London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021. Surprising? After almost a year in lockdown with varying access to hairstylists or professional braiders, it might be. But as with any trend, it's cyclical — more time at home, more time to do your hair.
Each fashion week approach to old-school plaits and ribbon embellishments features its own spin. At Bora Aksu, the ear-looping braids, finished in a swept-up chignon, felt like an homage to Victorian styles that acted as a counterpoint to the clothing's modern romance; while you wouldn't see the dresses in a history book, you might spot the hair. Always offering up modernized antique flair, Vivienne Westwood's Fall/Winter 2021 collection featured low Victorian-esque braided pigtails with parted, curly bangs and satiny, pale blue ribbons.
For labels like Bora Aksu or Vivienne Westwood, it just makes sense to go all out for a hairstyle, too, regardless of the season. Take Simone Rocha's Fall/Winter 2021 collection as another example; it's only natural that the frill-driven and highly feminine designer incorporate equally romantic hair, which has become a Simone Rocha trademark. Hairstylist Cyndia Harvey's hair designs for the show incorporated face-framing braided buns, as well as sculptural braids, teased-out hair texture, glistening beads, and stark white pearls. It was the hair equivalent of a Simone Rocha dress: complicated, beautiful, and daring.
Not totally sure how you could achieve the style at home? Chopova Lowena's Fall/Winter 2021 collection offered an alternative to the time-consuming trend by way of a plaid hat embellished with matching fabric braids. Meanwhile, for Batsheva's homey Fall/Winter 2021 look book — photographed in models' own kitchens according to Vogue — look six featured simpler, low twin braids finished with black scrunchies. A similar vibe out of NYFW, for when an all-out Victorian hairstyle might not be called for.
See more of the London Fashion Week trend, ahead.