For members of the fashion press, New York Fashion Week is one of the most frenzied, lawless, dizzying, and glamorous times of the year. Between getting yourself dressed, attending shows, covering backstage, and reporting on trends at breakneck speeds, it's in a fashion editor's best interest to do everything she can to make life easier for herself during NYFW. That means convenience food, comfortable shoes, and easy low-maintenance hairstyles.
No one knows this fact better than Chrissy Rutherford, senior digital fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar, who will have attended just around 30 fashion shows by the time NYFW is done. Rutherford has a myriad of incredibly chic hairstyles in her repertoire, but whenever NYFW street style photos of her surface, she's usually wearing one signature look: a sleek low chignon. "I love doing the slick-back because it's so easy—it takes me five minutes, which is great for fashion week," she says.
This style has also become one of Rutherford's go-tos because for the last eight months she's committed not to heat-styling her hair in an attempt to get her curls back because her hair was very heat-trained from constant blowouts, she says. This low-bun has proven the ideal solution. "I don't have to think about or fuss with my hair for the rest of the day!" Rutherford says. "It's a very sleek look, and I feel like it still works well with my style, whether I'm wearing a suit or something more feminine."
In admiration, we asked Rutherford to break down her precise process and products for exacting this chic, effortless chignon. Keep scrolling for the secrets behind a top fashion editor's key NYFW hairstyle.
How to Get Chrissy Rutherford's Sleek Chignon:
But first shampoo—though not just any shampoo. "I've just become obsessed with this! It's literally a bar of soap for your hair," says Rutherford. "Since my hair is super thick and curly, it makes life so much easier to rub the bar of soap into my hair and on my scalp."
The same brand makes Rutherford's favorite conditioner—a rich, dense cream that moisturizes and detangles using a totally vegan and cruelty-free formula.
After shampoo and conditioner, Rutherford towel-dries her hair slightly and then follows up by applying this creamy leave-in conditioner all over the ends of her hair for moisture, protection, and shine.
Now for styling: "I brush my hair out with a paddle brush first," Rutherford says. "I have curly hair, so I have to just to brush it out as much as possible so I can get it smooth. Then I pull it back into a ponytail (it doesn't have to be perfect)."
Next, Rutherford applies this tried-and-true flake-free styling gel throughout her hair.
Once the gel is applied, she uses a boar-bristle brush to start smoothing her hair out.
Then Rutherford takes the hair tie out, brushes through the ends, and uses two hair ties to secure her more polished pony.
Next: "I use Design Essentials Edge Control, which is a stickier and thicker formula than the Eco Style gel, to make sure my edges stay down," says Rutherford.
For her last step, Rutherford ties a silk scarf around her head while she does her makeup—"to make sure my hair stays laid while I do my makeup," she says. "I take the scarf off just before I have to leave the house and use more gel with a toothbrush in any spots that I need."
Eh voilà, NYFW-worthy chicness in under five minutes.
Next: How a celebrity stylist created three of the coolest looks at NYFW.