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Tracking the Sudden Rise of Bangs and “Baby Burns” on the Runway


Esmerelda Seay Reynolds on the runway at Saint Laurent Photo: Marcus Tondo / 

Grace Hartzel and Vanessa Moody spurred a serious case of bang envy back in New York, but as the season progressed, increasingly more models went under the scissors—upping our level of desire for fringe. At Bottega Veneta, Guido Palau added bangs to “anyone who would let him,” a group that included Esmerelda Seay Reynolds and Sally Jonsson. “I think it’s an idea of individuality that designers are embracing, and bangs give you a cool, rock-and-roll feeling,” he said. Palau continued cutting his way through the catwalk community at Céline, this time snipping in ’50s-style fringe that was shorter, “more aggressive, punky, and eccentric.” And last night at Saint Laurent, there seemed to be more models with bangs than without—some sporting wispy iterations and others heavy, brow-grazing strands across their foreheads.

For those who aren’t ready to fully commit to fringe, there is also the explosion of kiss curls, seen slicked to foreheads at Givenchy, and a concept we’ve dubbed “baby burns” (sideburns crafted with the fine baby hairs around the perimeter of the face), realized on the runway at Stella McCartney with mounds of mousse. “The hair is meant to look like you’ve put your hair into a ponytail and went swimming, and when you came out of the water, you’d have little wisps of hair stuck to your face,” explained mane master Eugene Souleiman. And at Balenciaga, Palau took sideburns to new extremes backstage, snipping two “mannish” pieces and molding them to models’ complexions to lend classic chignons some “edge.” While shellacking hair to your skin seems like it would work only on the runway, celebs like FKA twigs and Katy Perry (who sat front-row at Givenchy) have already translated this offbeat beauty idea into real life.​

—Amber Kallor

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