Yesterday, in a light-filled studio in Manhattan’s Soho, rows of ribbons in jade green grosgrain, sherbet-colored silk, and lavender lace lay ready for their close-up. The occasion? The start of New York Fashion Week, which Vogue celebrated with a handful of hair accessories on rising runway models, whose origins range from San Angelo, Texas, to Lagos, Nigeria. “It’s a fun accessory [that] doesn’t look too young,” says?editorial hairstylist Esther Langham as she raked model Yoon Young Bae’s ombré lengths into a topknot before tying it loosely with a fraying white ribbon.
After seasons of come-as-you-are, untouched hair, the statement ribbon—whether plucked off a prettily packaged present or bought at a craft store especially for the occasion—is a natural starting point for a hair look that’s a little bit bigger and a little bit better than the rest. “It makes [any style] more exciting without going overboard,” explains Langham, who relinquished oversize jewels for knotted ribbons around tightly woven braids, low-slung ponytails, and mountains of ringlets alike.
While bows present boundless possibilities, Langham has only one cardinal rule: “The hair shouldn’t be too done—it should have an ease,” she says. “Whoever you are, make it your own and carry it off.” Consider that sound advice to keep in mind as street style photographers swarm the city this season.