What better way to ring in the New Year than celebrating the movers and shakers who made significant strides in 2023? There are a million and one reasons to love Emma Watson, and her commitments to pushing for gender equality and environmental justice rank near the top of the list — so does her impeccable sense of style, just immortalized in the January 2024 issue of British Vogue. On the cover, Watson’s braided pigtails and wispy bangs look elegant and effortless, a seamless continuation of her usual beauty favorites, but dressed up for the major occasion. Frankly, her entire hairstyle feels like something out of a punk-ified version of the sweeping period piece movies she regularly stars in — couldn’t you see this look on Little Women’s Meg, or her depiction of Belle in the live-action Beauty And The Beast?
The cover dropped on Dec. 14, one edition of a three-part series featuring other “sustainability trailblazers” — the issue’s theme — including Amber Valletta and British designers Tolu Coker, Priya Ahluwalia, and Torishéju Dumo. Watson’s curly, honey-brown hair is windblown and elaborate against her delicate cream-and-ivory outfit, with larger swaths piled on top of her head like a glamorously haphazard half-up style, created by editorial hairstylist Eugene Souleiman.
At first glance, there appears to be just one fine braid trailing down her back, but a closer look (and some detailed accessibility captions) show that she’s actually wearing a pair of plaited pigtails. In fact, the larger photoshoot offers an even better perspective — those “bangs” were created using the ends of the hair pulled to the top of her head. The entire effect is romantic, edgy, and incredibly stunning.
Watson’s Vogue covers are always something special. She’s been the monthly face of the Australian and American editions before, but this marks her third with the British version. They’ve gotten increasingly experimental over the years, and this go-round might be her best to date. The interview is full of illuminating quotes from the star, in which she discusses directing her first commercial for Prada, stepping back from the acting world, and, of course, her efforts toward bolstering sustainability in the fashion world.
If this is how 2024 starts, it’s going to be a great year.