by Catherine Spinley
When Gossip Girl went off the air in 2012, I assumed it would take another decade or so for headbands to enter back into the fashion lexicon. Yet, here we are, a scant six years later and that dirty little word, “headband,” is on everyone’s lips. It’s a guilty pleasure accessory - the fashion equivalent of my secret Spotify playlist named, Queen Celine.
If you follow Chrissy Teigen’s IG (and why wouldn’t you?!), you probably understand there are some girls who are just born to wear some sort of hair accoutrement. Chrissy is one of them. HRC tried her hand at it, too. And, of course, all Brits are simply born with the hair accessory gene. But, what about the rest of us mere mortals? Remember us? The ladies who still swear by their favorite Forever 21 jeans? Whose idea of this season’s “It Bag” is a fresh Outdoor Voices tote? We, who posit Andy Sach’s cerulean, cable knit sweater in The Devil Wears Prada was simply one size too big but otherwise acceptable? Can we claim our rightful place in the headband hierarchy?
Yes. Yes, we can.
This little thing started a few seasons back at the Tom Ford Fall 18 runway show when celebrity hairstylist Orlando Pita created a distinct grunge-girl-meets-trust-fund look that relied heavily on a smoky, smudged eye, door knocker earrings and a black leather headband you can own for as little as $390! Now, Tom Ford didn’t invent the ridiculously overpriced headband nor am I anointing him the Godfather of The Headband; however, it’s hard to forget Kaia Gerber, Joan Smalls and Binx Walton skulking down the runway draped in animal print and those black leather, head panels.
Soon after, Kate Middleton wore the most stunning Jane Taylor headpiece to Prince Louis’ christening last August and that’s when I had a hunch headbands might officially become a “thing” once again. When downtown (black leather) and uptown (crystal and pearl-encrusted) hair accessories meet, the fashion masses soon will follow (which they did, because I secured myself a black, satin knotted headband at Anthropologie last week, so there’s that...).
And, perhaps I would have brushed off the headband as just a little fantasy of Mr. Ford’s or a whimsical fluke of Kate’s but then came Prada and when Prada calls, we answer. There were headbands in ruby silk with bows, black satin with metallic rivets, padded arcs of nude, white and champagne creating a halo of goodness atop each models noggin. Astonishingly, these headbands achieved the unthinkable; they made a strong trend statement without stealing the thunder of the actual outfits.
If the headband sirens have not lured you yet (“There too precious. Does it come with it’s own membership to the Greenwich Country Club?”), the ultimate downtown mic-drop happened Saturday night at Alexander Wang’s Fall 2019 show, in which the many models donned plastic headbands (Oh wait, were they lucite? Sorry, I was raised in a barn.)! Even The Cut took notice!
As Grace Coddington famously said, “Once is a fluke. Twice is a coincidence. Three’s a crowd. And Four is a bonafide fashion trend.” Kidding - I just made that up. Blame it on the headband.
Catherine Spinley is a sometimes-writer and photographer based in New York. When not stalking other people’s dogs or yelling at people who refuse to walk up the left side of the escalator, she works in the beauty industry and practices yoga. You can read more from her at Worepaint.com.