What comes to mind when you think about standout New York Fashion Week hairstyles? Chances are, it’s something impossibly complicated or conspicuously fabulous — a sculptural updo anchored by feathers and flowers, an edgy hodgepodge of hot-glued saran wrap around models’ heads, or hip-grazing extensions that act as their own accessory. This season, though, things are taking a turn for the simpler, though by no means less striking or opulent. Low ponytails are sweeping NYFW shows, popping up in some of the week’s most buzzed-about presentations with intriguing adornments and accessories, captivating textures and placements, and a whole lot of shine.
A low ponytail, typically secured at the base of the neck, is already considered perhaps the most versatile hairstyle out there — what other style could a Euphoria girl and a young colonial woodworking apprentice have in common? Left unembellished, they’re no-nonsense and efficient. Dressed up with an interesting scarf-wrap at the PatBO show, or Sergio Hudson’s wrapped-in-wire edition, they’re no longer just a style but a statement. And as is the case with virtually all low ponytails — even the exceptionally fashionable ones — the New York Fashion Week looks are surprisingly easy to recreate, too.
At Sergio Hudson, many of the glossy, wire-wrapped ponytails worn by the models matched the fit-and-flare silhouettes of some of the garments worn. The fleet of backstage stylists, led by Naeemah LaFond, Amika’s Global Artistic Director, used a bevy of Amika products to slick models’ hair down in deep, sweeping side-parts. Inspired by a chic safari girls' trip, the gleaming metallic wire gives way to volume, texture, shine, and length — pretty yet practical.
Meanwhile, over at Ulla Johnson, the low ponytails took a decidedly more cottagecore path with pleasing symmetrical twist-wraps snaking the long, waving ponytails in patterns matching the clothes, all directed by the lauded Bob Recine for Aveda. Against the rich browns, toasted reds, and warm beiges of the collection, it’s a perfect convergence of simplicity and sunny nostalgia.
Wraps were also seen at the PatBO show, albeit to a very different effect. Featuring scarves inspired by artisanship from designer Patricia Bonaldi’s hometown of Uberlandia, Brazil, the wraps left out plenty of face-framing pieces and messy tendrils for a glamorously-mussed look that could elevate anything from a grocery store ponytail to a wedding ponytail.
Plus, if you love them, the scarves and other accessories used are actually available to purchase as part of a collaboration with TRESemmé — Lacy Redway, Unilever Global Stylist and Celebrity Hair Artist lead the show’s hair team with a fleet of TRESemmé styling products. Other low ponytails were fastened with velvet hair ribbons or clipped back.
Over at the BRONXANDBANCO show, hair design lead Kevin Hughes, Artistic Director at Moroccanoil, used some well-placed shine and shimmer to enhance the collection’s own gleaming garments. “We didn’t want to compete with the clothes — so we decided to shine along with them! We created a super sleek, super glossy ponytail to complement the collection,” Hughes explains in a press release detailing the products used. While the part placement varied between center-split parts and deep side parts, the universal element was just how shiny the hair looked — practically reflective thanks to a robust lineup of Moroccanoil products.
If all of the dressed-up ponytails inspire you to spruce up your own, there are plenty of products (including exacts from the shows themselves) to help out. If you’re opting for a low-key accessory like wire wraps or a relaxed bow, don’t be afraid to experiment with volume, parts, or texture as a bonus. For something more on the simple side, leave the rest of the hair a bit undone. In this new age of power and party ponytails, the style is no longer purely utilitarian — ask not what your ponytail can do for you, but what you can do for your ponytail.
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