At WhoWhatWear.com, sometimes we like to sideline our examination of the big-picture style stuff and parse the petite crazes instead. After all, just because it's niche, doesn't mean it's not worth inspecting! On that note, today's Beauty Board pays homage to a trend that's small, but steadily captivating fashion-forward gals like Chloe Sevigny, Alice Dellal, and Georgia Jagger: side-swept hair.
As demonstrated by the beauty look at Proenza Schouler's S/S 09 show, side-swept hair can be quite glam. When one combines a deep side part with oversized waves, the result imparts a sort of Jerry-Hall-circa-1981 glamour upon the wearer. But when the tresses in question are not coiffed so carefully and worn in a slightly straight, semi-disheveled way, the effect is grungier and more attitude-driven. This version of side-swept hair reminds us of two people in particular: Drew Barrymore in the very early nineties, around the Poison Ivy years and, to a lesser degree, Alicia Silverstone in the Aerosmith video in which she jumps off of highway overpasses, punks Steven Dorff, and gets her backpack stolen by Josh Holloway (unknown then, now of Lost fame). In other words, it's the sort of hairdo favored by slightly bad girls who seem impulsive, make parents very nervous, and has dramatic personal style in spades.
Though this trend might seem random, we weren't surprised that side-swept hair is making a comeback nearly two decades after it first appeared. 'Tis the season for nineties love, after all; we're just happy that chokers and dirt-colored lipstick haven't experienced a similar renaissance. Nor were we shocked to note that this trend turned up first on British trendsetters; they tend to be a bit more daring than their American peers. In fact, one of the first people to try the look was none other than Georgia May Jagger-yes, Jerry Hall's daughter-when she and her pal Suki Waterhouse flipped their hair for Vivienne Westwood's A/W 09 show in London. Just a few weeks later, the polarizing Alice Dellal turned up at the Moet and Chandon Tribute to Cinema Event with her long locks tossed to the side. (To be fair, she's rocked this style for ages.) Even Peaches Geldof went for a seductive variation on the look for a party during the Cannes Film Festival. Stateside, the only person daring enough to wear side-swept hair thus far is the fearless Chloe Sevigny. At the beginning of June, the Big Love star showed up at a Calvin Klein Collection-hosted fete for Visionaire's latest issue wearing her long blonde locks in this suitably edgy style.
If you're going to attempt this look at home, there's not much to keep in mind-just be sure to play up the natural texture of your hair. Backstage at Proenza Schouler, hairstylists used ghd's Sea Spray For Matte Waves ($18) before curling the models' hair and giving it that strong side part. Personally, we're a little bit lazier, so we like to give our damp hair a good dousing of Bumble and bumble's Surf Spray ($22), let it air dry, and then finish the look with a bit of the brand's Brilliantine ($20). Use a little of the finishing crème on the ends of your hair to make it a little piecey and polished. Or you could just remember that sometimes the simplest answer is the best one, skip all these steps, and simply flip your hair to one side. Yeah, that works too.