Pout and about Fashion

Making headway, fashionably

How many pairs of shoes do you have? Lost count, haven’t you? What about handbags and neckpieces? Predictably, that’s an obscene number too. And how many hair accessories do you possess? Two scrunchies, one hair band and two butterfly clips... if that’s what your grand collection is like, I hate to inform you, you’re lagging way behind in the thriving hair accessories scene.

Big bows, large floral arrangements, vibrant turbans, dazzling diamanté brooches... it’s not uncommon to spot these sprouting on fashionistas and fashion experimentalists’ heads. For a long time, Derbies were where one could spot an enviable collection of hats and fascinators. Not to forget royal galas and weddings. At Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, reportedly around 30 headgear were designed by milliner Philip Treacy. Suddenly, fascinators became an oft-Googled word, and Treacy, despite his earlier works for Givenchy Haute Couture, Valentino, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga’s telephone-shaped headgear with a detachable receiver, became a searched name. Fashion houses started steadily foraying into the hair accessory space, creating glittering, avant garde, arty and sometimes impractical pieces. Fashion weeks caught on, with models delicately balancing elaborate headgear. And now, they are making their way out of runways and onto red carpets, parties and streets. Closer home, milliner Little Shilpa, who has designed for A-listers including Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Sonam Kapoor, says that her clientèle now includes not just celebrities, but also kids and women in their mid-60s. These sure are head turners!

Metallics, lace, futuristic patterns, vintage styles, floral hairbands (the kind that has populated every music event and bachelorette party)... the choices are mind-boggling. Here are five of my picks, other than hair bands, which I’m assuming everybody owns:


Every fancy dress competition I can remember from childhood has had at least 10 participants sporting diadems in their avatars as fairies, Cinderella or the Queen of England. And now is our chance to wear them as grown-ups and not be looked at weirdly. Also known as tiaras, these typically sparkly adornments were common at the SS 16 shows. Though largely worn with gowns and extremely feminine silhouettes, the team at Saint Laurent believes otherwise. They claim that their masterpiece — a grunge tiara in silver, stone, brass and crystal — can be worn with just about everything, from denim biker jackets to skater dresses.


On days even dry shampoos give up on me, I turn to my trusted orange turban with vibrant red, green and blue prints. I picked it up on a trip to Turkey to protect my head from the biting cold, but it serves me well even in this tropical climate. It’s very Boho, with a Lawrence of Arabia vibe. Again, there are plenty of styles to choose from: high top, beehive style, the flat ones and some that even resemble evolved shower caps. There are D-I-Y options too; for inspiration, look at Christian Dior, Super Duper, Marc Jacobs or Etro.


Everything quirky has a fan in me. Remember sproutcore that swept across Beijing last year? It’s when people wore two tiny leaf sprouts on their heads. Eventually, the sprouts started growing bigger, and a motley bunch of people across the world improvised and wore their own versions. Soon, there were fruits, nuts, massive flowers and a bunch of other things. Fascinators in the form of a bird’s nest finished off with feathers, rainbow-coloured pom poms, cats ears, silver stick-on hair tattoos, skeleton hands... Trust me, none of these are subtle. If you’re wearing them, you might as well show them off. Even then, some are best limited to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!

Clips, brooches and barrettes

Hair clips were a big deal when we were in play school. My ponytails always had cutesy shaped clips and bands in colours matching my outfits. It’s apparently still a trend among the pre-school groups. Now, I can flick a few from my little niece’s collection. Bejewelled is the way to go for clips, brooches and barrettes. There are designs adorned with semi-precious stones, crystals, gem stones, diamonds... It creates a soft, romantic look. Try it before you buy it... the heavy ones may give you a head ache or cause embarrassment as they slide down the side of your mane, just as you try to twirl a strand and look coy.


Bows find themselves knotted in a variety of ways, creating girly, back-to-school looks. Be it a ponytail, French knot, a plait or any hair style, a bow never looks out of place. They can be a simple velvet bow clip, flowy chiffon or a massive wispy one, in some cases bigger than the wearer’s head. If you are opting for large bows, stay clear of blingy outfits and accessories. You do not want to look like a Christmas gift, do you?

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 4:50:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/Making-headway-fashionably/article16073969.ece

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