Edgy 80s Kink
If for some reason our recent Currently Channeling and Ask A Stylist stories haven't hammered the point home, let us say it again: the eighties are back with a vengeance. But unlike some seasons, when a particular era only impacts a few select designers and clothing styles, this decade is influencing everything from fashion editorials to cocktail frocks to the coolest hairstyles. Regarding the latter, one of the most interesting interpretations of eighties style we've seen is actually a beauty reference, specifically Madonna's "Lucky Star" look. As seen on the pop star circa 1984, the 'do in question showcases unruly, voluminous, semi-kinked locks, and it's currently being worn by everyone from established trendsetters (Mary-Kate Olsen) to up-and-coming talent (Juno Temple).
As always, Mary-Kate Olsen was one of the first fashion plates to try out this trend, which happened at The Metropolitan Opera's 125th Anniversary Gala back in March. Perhaps she was taking a cue from Vivienne Westwood's F/W 09 show (it took place only a few weeks before the Met Opera party), where Bumble and bumble stylist Rolando Beauchamp gave the models oversized kinky manes. The massively creative Beauchamp created the runway look by setting the girls' hair in pin curls for volume, then brushing it out and applying liberal amounts of Bumble and bumble Surf Spray ($22) to amplify body and texture. (Beauchamp is frequently responsible for Olsen's red carpet hairstyles, so we imagine he worked a similar regime on her locks for this event.)
Of course, some girls don't require much styling effort to achieve this quirky coiffure because they just come by it naturally. Two of our favorite fresh faces-actress Juno Temple and model Portia Freeman-embrace their shocking blonde curls and use their hair to accent their overall style. Temple (above, far right) let her hair take center stage at the recent premiere of her new movie, Cracks, during the London Film Festival late last month, while Freeman (far left) showed off her eighties-ish curls at a Next Models party during London Fashion Week.
As you can tell from these references, the edgy kink is typically associated with shoulder-length or longer locks, but it actually translates quite well as an up-do and on short hair too. If you don't want to commit to the full statement of the look, a pinned-up style, like the one Pixie Geldof wore to Hannah Marshall's show during London Fashion Week, is a great alternative. Additionally, on closely cropped hair, a crown of crazy curls can look quite chic; just check out Audrey Tautou's style at the premiere of Coco Before Chanel for reference. We love how she completed her ensemble with a gauzy black hair accessory, which is a subtle nod to the aforementioned Madonna look.
If you're ready to dive into this dramatic beauty trend, all you need are a few key products and tools, most of which you probably already have. Essentially, you're faking the over-processed effect of the eighties perm, so remember that the goal to make your hair look fat, full, and matte. For most girls-especially those with natural curl and texture-the most important product to use is some sort of curl-emphasizing mousse. Bumble and bumble's Curl Conscious Holding Foam ($27) has a gel-to-foam formula that will boost your kink factor; just apply evenly from roots to ends, scrunch, and dry with a diffuser.
Obviously those of you with straight hair will have a little more work than your friends with natural curls. Celebrity stylist Jen Atkin (who regularly works with lovely ladies like Leighton Meester, Lily Cole, and our favorite, Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame) says to prep your damp hair with a body-adding spray, like Frederic Fekkai's Instant Volume Spray ($20), and then use a hair dryer and your fingers to rough-dry your locks. (Don't use a brush: it will make your hair too flat and straight, which is the opposite of what you're going for!) Next, section your hair horizontally and use a multi-barrel waving iron to give your hair the desired kink and curl. While there are lots of fancy versions on the market, you don't have to invest in an expensive iron to get the desired look. In fact, Atkin suggests using Hot Tools 3-Barrel Hair Waver Iron ($21), which is very reasonably priced. Once finished kinking, Akin recommends locking in your work by adding a light layer of Frederic Fekkai's Wave Creating Spray ($20) for more volume. Finally, finish with a good hairspray, such as Rene Furterer's Laque Hair Spray ($27), to set the look and poof! You've got a Madonna-vetted, runway ready look!