To put it bluntly, this season's must-have hair is all about unapologetically thick bangs. Inspired by two distinct decades, the fifties and the seventies, this coif can either be executed with cropped, curved fringe reminiscent of pin-ups or worn with swingy, straight locks à la Jane Birkin. Ideal for ladies with larger foreheads, this eyelash-grazing hairstyle isn't for the faint of upkeep--bangs require a lot of trims, plus growing them out is a major pain--yet it's already a favorite look in the cool crowd, as we've spotted various interpretations on fashion favorites like Kate Moss, Lou Doillon, and flame-haired songstress Florence Welch.
We first noticed this striking coif when it surfaced on the S/S 11 runways at Christian Dior and Mulberry. For the former, super sculptor Orlando Pita riffed on Bettie Paige's iconic hairstyle to reinforce the glamorous vintage vibe of the punchy South Pacific-influenced collection. The retro, curved bangs--which hit about mid-forehead--were made in advance of the show out of prepared hairpieces and adjusted to accurately frame each model's face à la minute. At Mulberry, Pantene's Global Ambassador Sam McKnight also brought out all the trimmings with collarbone-skimming wigs that were replicas of featured model Julia Johansen's ginger locks. McKnight dyed each hairpiece using a mix of Wella's Colour Touch in Number 7, Wella's Koleston in 0/43, and Schwarzkopf's Colour Agora Royale in 777, and then styled the strategically tousled locks with a serum, like Pantene's Pro-V Smooth & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum ($9), and Frederic Fekkai's Full Volume Styling Mousse ($21). Johansen's creamy complexion and choppy red hair earned her muse status at Mulberry, while her doll-like hairstyle complemented the spring runway fare and added a bit of downtown edge to the ladylike silhouettes.
Of course, show-stopping looks from the runways are the most exaggerated examples--less in the case of Mulberry, but more so chez Dior--so it often helps to see how some of our favorite stylesetters authenticate the veiled look. While these trendsetters' fringed tresses aren't wholly new, per se, they are excellent representations of this growing trend. Take for example, Kate Moss who showed up to celebrate her final capsule collection for Topshop in London late last year bedecked in heavy bangs. The supermodel's blond locks hung low and sexy in her eyes, resulting in a modern, messier interpretation of this quintessential wild-girl style. Opting for an equally glamorous, yet more retro vibe, Jameela Jamil also sported blunt fringe to attend the Sex and the City 2 DVD launch party in London that same month. She paired her self-styled fifties-esque fringe with an exaggerated cat-eye beauty look for a result reminiscent of the Dior S/S 11 show. However, structured and glossy is not the only way to go with these bangs, as demonstrated by Lou Doillon who looked effortlessly chic at the Christian Dior S/S 11 show during Paris Fashion Week last October. Her unfussy, self-styled hair has a decidedly seventies vibe that is right on trend for spring and sports a shape similar to our final fringed fatale, Florence Welch. The front woman for Florence + the Machine--the indie-turned-it-group that performed at Mulberry's star-studded post-show soiree--wears her crimson tresses styled in an edgy, piecey cut we love.
If you're considering a full fringe of your own, be sure to do your homework first: this should not be an impulse decision! Generally speaking, these bangs work best on girls with narrower faces--those of you with round or square-shaped faces should proceed carefully--and relatively straight hair. In addition to frequent trims to ensure your bangs stay the perfect length, also know that for ideal results you must blow-dry your bangs every day; they can look quite wonky if you let them air dry, especially if you have fine hair. If you don't like the rolled/pin-up look, skip the round brush when you're drying them and just use your fingers to get them in the right place. Super stylist Jen Atkin also suggests combing them whilst drying instead of the typical round brush. "When you use a comb, you get a longer look and not "little girl" bangs," she says.
Of course, if you're lousy with a hair dryer, you can always cheat and use a flat iron to finish your bangs once they're dry. Just make sure you go over your bangs gently; you don't want to damage them with too much heat. While you probably already have said styling tool, if you're in the market for a new one, we recommend scooping up T3's Volumize Flat Iron ($99) to keep your manicured bangs up to par. The ceramic plates protect your hair against too much damage while the domed design was made with shorter cuts in mind, making it the perfect wand to wield when styling your Doillon, Moss, Jamil, or Welch-inspired blunt bangs!--Liza Kaplan
Photos of Lou Doillon and Jameela Jamil, courtesy of Getty Images; photo of Florence Welch, courtesy of Mulberry; photo of Kate Moss, courtesy of Pacific Coast News; Dior runway image, courtesy of Imax Tree; Mulberry runway image, courtesy of First View.