The definition of hair accessory loosens up during Couture Week. Sometime's it's an oversized headband, or a tiny, '50s-inspired hair fastener, angled just so. But occasionally, it can also be the netted veil completely covering a model's face at Maison Margiela, or the explosive jumble of a sculpture balanced on top of a head at Valentino. One fact is certain, though: The Haute Couture Spring 2020 hair accessories do not disappoint.
And despite the more eccentric pieces, there are select accessories destined for commercial success — should their houses translate the ornamental couture into ready-to-wear jewelry. Clare Waight Keller continued the chunky headband trend at the Givenchy Spring 2020 Couture show, coordinating the accessory's material with the texture of certain dresses. Look 39 most beautifully exemplifies the humble headband's power under the creative director's hand: The pearls appear like a radiant halo on top of the model's hair, a stark contrast suspended on the dark band.
The collection sparkled with bridal appeal as well, inviting viewers to reimagine the traditional veil — and well before the collection's jaw-dropping finale. Ornate, bejeweled clips held ponytail-like curtains of fringe, while one model in a white dress sported an Art Deco headpiece that wouldn't have looked out of place on a '20s bride.
Traditional veils were a running theme at Dior, where Maria Grazia Chiuri and Dior milliner Stephen Jones' golden hat veils paid "tribute to the grace of goddesses" according to the house's website. Some toyed with the "neo-goddess" theme directly, taking the shape of a laurel wreath or interconnected serpents. Others were subtler nods to feminine styles gone by; sleek and simple, with a birdcage veil barely casting a shadow on the model's face.
Those interested in the flash-in-the-pan beauty of couture will have ample inspiration to peruse this year, too. Maison Margiela's deconstruction-meets-upcycling took the form of hats, veils, and creations veering in between the two for the Spring 2020 Couture show. Pierpaolo Piccioli embraced a similar approach for certain accessories in the Valentino show, constructing twin headpieces resembling glistening coral — one red, one seafoam — out of indiscernible materials.
Which, when all is said and done, may be the most exciting part of any Couture Week; seeing artists turn materials you think you know into creations both shocking and new, like magicians pulling a rabbit out of their (elaborate, jewel-encrusted) hat.