According to the spring/summer 2016 fashion shows, hair ribbons are having a moment. In order to prepare yourself for next season and rock a totally cute trend, you can find ways to wear a hair ribbon with inspiration taken directly from the catwalks. Of course, ribbons aren't exactly a new trend. Marie Antoinette was renowned for wearing extravagantly luxurious clothing and hairstyles, and she was no stranger to decorating her hair with wonderful accessories such as ostrich plumes, jewels, and ribbons. In more recent years, there was a surge of celebrities wearing hair bows as well, including Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Alexa Chung.
Wearing a ribbon in one's locks adds a certain touch of whimsy to an outfit. Sandy from Grease wore a ribbon to match her cheerleading uniform before her foxy transformation at the end of the movie, and ribbons have adorned the crowns of animated characters such as Hello Kitty. We have even been given sneak peeks of Harley Quinn in next year's movie Suicide Squad who wears ribbons tightly around her pigtails, possibly as a symbol that she's not as innocent as she appears.
So here's how to take inspiration straight from the runways and wear your ribbons in the style of the spring/summer 2016 shows.
1. Oscar De La Renta
For the Oscar de la Renta spring/summer 2016 show, models wore elegant grosgrain ribbons tied loosely around low ponytails. Hairstylist Guido Palau who created the sophisticated look told Vogue in September, “This is a hairstyle that everyone can do.” So I began with this style to see how easy it was IRL.
Mr. Palau did not disappoint! This was an incredibly easy hairstyle to achieve. I began by parting my hair and combing it back into a low ponytail, which I secured with a hair tie. After this, I wrapped my ribbon loosely around my hair tie, making sure to keep the bow casual and floppy. This really is a chic look that anyone can achieve.
In an Oct. 2015 interview, then Creative Director Alber Elbaz explained Lanvin's spring/summer 2016 ready-to-wear collection to Vogue saying, “It’s a celebration of femininity, of colors, of shine and volume, silhouettes, bows, and crystals,” which must be why ribbons were used freely throughout. Models' hair was worn either short or in an up-do and finished off with a pretty bow.
As I don't have bangs, I brushed my hair back completely. With the amount of hair I have, I knew I had no chance of creating a chic chignon, so I instead opted for a bun. I put my hair into a ponytail and wrapped a hair tie around it twice. Instead of pulling my hair all the way through for the third wrap around, I pulled only a small section through instead.
Next, I proceeded to wrap the remainder of my hair around the very small "bun" shape and I secured it underneath with a bobby pin and by pushing the ends up and underneath the hair tie.
Finally, I wrapped my ribbon around my bun and created a small bow to finish this look.
WWD reported that Peter Weir’s Picnic At Hanging Rock inspired the girlish, slightly other-worldly beauty of Dior's spring/summer ready-to-wear collection. So it made sense that ribbons were used in the models' hair but in a rather unusual way: They were worn as chokers, which also tied around low ponytails at the nape of the neck. They lent the models a pretty, relaxed, yet luxe vibe.
To recreate this look, I first put my hair into a low ponytail and secured it with a hair tie. I made sure to keep it loose around my ears, just like Dior's ladies.
Next, I took a piece of ribbon and grabbed an end in each hand. I pressed the center of the piece of ribbon to the front of my neck and wrapped it around the back of my neck so that I was holding the ends behind my head.
I then crossed them over in order to create a tight choker around my neck. After this, I began to wrap the rest of the ribbon around my hair tie and I tied it in a knot at the top of my ponytail, leaving the ends to loosely fall down where they pleased. I enjoyed how the finished style was both edgy and elegant.
4. Mary Katrantzou
To me, the way in which ribbons were used in Mary Katrantzou's spring 2016 show was intriguingly modern with a feminine, hippie vibe. In Sept. 2015, hairstylist Paul Hanlon told Vogue, “It’s not a headband, it’s not a grip, it’s not a barrette — it’s a new way to accessorize the hair, and that’s what I love about it." That's what I love about this look too: It's a totally new way to wear a ribbon in your hair.
To achieve this look, I first separated two sections of hair at the front of my head and held these together and out of the way with a hair tie. I incorporated the same method as with the Dior look, whereby I used the middle of the piece of ribbon for the choker section and crossed the ends over underneath my hair, in order to keep the choker tight.
Next, I wrapped the rest of the ribbon up and around the large section of hair I had loose at the back and tied a bow.
I then released the sections of hair from my hair tie and separated each piece into two so that I was left with four sections in total; two on either side of my head. I placed the back two sections behind my shoulders and kept the front two sections resting on my chest. Finally, I tucked these front sections behind my ears and the look was complete.
These fashion giants prove that hair ribbons needn't be traditional, so throw the fashion rulebook out the window and try out some quirky and fashionable new ribbon styles.
Images: Phoebe Waller; Giphy