The Best Hairstyles From London Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2016

In comparison to the New York Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Week, we saw a lot more texture and adventure at the London Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Week. While New York was more about sharp lines and strong accents, I picked hairstyles from the London 2016 Fashion Week that focused on a wider range of hair types and textures.

Here is my pick of the looks I liked best from LFW 2016. Some of these are very wearable while the others can be easily adapted for off-runway use. If you’re not given to complex hairstyles or feel like the artsy stuff is best suited for editorial work and not real life, the hair inspiration to come out of London Fashion Week is just the thing you need.

Charlotte Olympia

This might possibly be my favorite look so far. I absolutely love Old Hollywood waves in short hair. We saw the more traditional variant (waves in long and blonde hair, right outta the Fifties) on other models walking the runway for the Charlotte Olympia LFW AW16 show as well, but this cut and color just blew me away. The deep mahogany and russet tones are breathtaking and everything about this look is divine. It’s very retro while also simultaneously conveying the spirit of a powerful, modern woman who’s at the top of her game no matter the time period or context. If you’re going to go short, don’t phone it in. Look to the Flappers for some inspiration –or more recently, the London Fashion Week– and rock a wavy bob.

Daks

When you’ve been styling hair for a long time, one of the biggest challenges is to make sure you don’t fall into a rut. Everyone has a couple of go-to hairstyles and tricks they fall back on more often than others, but it’s important to know how to celebrate the classics while still being able to shake things up every once in a while.

Which is why I’m always looking for exciting new ideas for bun hairstyles. The low chignon, topknot and deconstructed side bun continue to be some of my all-time favorites but if you’re in the mood for something unusual and striking, with a hint of the familiar, take a look at the hairstyles from the Daks London Fashion Week 2016 showing. It combines a bunch of interesting elements: the side part, the side bun and the cone bun. What makes this hairstyle particularly arresting is one teensy little detail: the side part and the side bun are both actually on the same side! Side buns are almost always styled on the side facing the part, so the two aspects balance each other out. In this new take on an old favorite, we see a subtle asymmetry that quietly creeps up on you and takes your breath away. If you’re like me and you enjoy unexpected styling and quiet surprises, this hair trend is definitely one to try.

Apart from being a rather striking style statement, the hairstyle also emphasizes your facial features and draws attention to the eyes and the cheekbones. It’s sophisticated, quirky and sexy. If you want to pare it down a bit you could opt for a more rounded-off form. Just remember to work with a sleek, straight base and spray down any flyaways.

Mary Katrantzou

The Mary Katrantzou models caught my eye right away because of the unique bangs. In my post on the best hairstyles from the New York Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Week I observed that I always enjoy innovative styling when it comes to bangs and fringes: it’s a great reminder that even when we commit to a particular hairstyle, there is room for experimentation and change. So many people hesitate before asking their hairstylist for a fringe because a) fringes can often end up looking bad if they’re not flattering to your facial structure and features and b) until a fringe grows out, you’re kind of stuck with it. The latter is bad enough once the novelty of the new look wears off but it’s even worse if you’ve been given a cut that you don’t enjoy.

However, the commitment phobic fashionista will be glad to know that fringe-focused hairstyling is becoming a whole thing in itself now, with more and more attention being paid to how a basic set of bangs can be transformed into several different styles.

If that is an idea that appeals to you, take a look at this photo from the Mary Katrantzou Fall 2016 show. I love the ‘parting curtains’ effect here and it’s so easy to create. All you need is a lightweight styling cream and a pintail comb to be able to part and carve out your hair into the desired shape.

Begin by drawing an arc from the very top of one ear over to the other. All the hair that falls behind the part should be secured out of the way. Apply a styling product to the front portion, comb through and then craft out the style. Begin by drawing a central part in the front portion, dividing the hair into two sections. You will then want to carefully arrange it over your forehead, using the pin end of your comb to slowly trace the shape while using the teeth or even your fingers to pat the hair within the ‘outlines’ you draw out. Slick your hair down using the product and then comb it back over behind the ear. You might need to twist your hair slightly at the temples to absorb the volume and keep the hair at the front absolutely flat. Add some pins behind the ears to secure these sections into place and then add some hairspray for good measure. Open the hair secured at the back and brush all the mid-lengths out to merge the hair behind the ears (taken from the fringe-forming front) with the rest. Now you can style the lower half of your hair into a bun or a ponytail or even leave it loose.

The models’ hair looked particularly interesting because the fringe sections were noticeably darker than the rest of the hair- creating an interesting medley of shades and dimensions. Whether you use extensions to add length of a different color or stick to your natural hues, it’s definitely a look worth trying. If you have bangs, it’s a great way to play around. If you don’t, it’s a neat trick for faking bangs every now and then: just be sure to take a small amount of hair for the hair in front of the arc as that will make it easier to style into a faux fringe.

Peter Pilotto

Every year during the Fashion Weeks we see at least one hair accessory that is sure to become a major hair trend in the coming months. Remember the Chanel pearl-topped hair accessories? This year, my vote goes to these lovely inverted bands we saw at the Peter Pilotto show in London. Worn at the back of the head, these crescent shaped accessories can be worn up top in the more traditional position as well.

If you don’t have something similar or can’t buy one, there are a number of ways in which you could easily make this into a fun DIY project. Firstly, you can simply crisscross a number of pins in the desired arrangement in your hair, creating any pattern you like. This is a great way to add some pizzazz to braids and intricate hairstyles because you’ll have the flexibility to choose shapes and designs as per each unique hairstyle. Secondly, for a more permanent take on the look, you can fix individual pins onto a thin plain headband in a pattern you like, wait for the adhesive to take and then simply slip your DIY headband one whenever the fancy strikes.

Judging by the two very different but equally stunning styles we can see in this photo, there’s no limit to the different variations you can go in for. From bright and boho to classic elegance, you can put together a look for any mood. And what’s really great about these accessories (whether you wear them as one piece or a number of pins slipped in over each other) is that they compliment all sorts of hairstyles: braids, buns, half-up/half-down looks and more!

Sibling

Loving this look from the Sibling 2016 London show because of all the asymmetry at work: the neat, short buzzed/ slicked back sides flirt tantalizingly with the messier, longer locks up top. If you're worried about undercuts/ buzzed sides being difficult to pull off because they can look too severe, here’s a way to retain some of the femininity we traditionally associate with long hair: keep the crown long so you can style it around in any number of ways and experiment with a number of different moods.

Loads of volume at the crown, straight bangs pulled out front over the forehead and an artfully messy side swoop bring just the right amount of punk to this look. If you are only just taking the plunge into dabbling with androgyny in fashion, know that you can always balance it out with your makeup and outfit: an irresistible pout or an ethereal dress will be the perfect foil to this hairstyle.

Topshop Unique

Absolutely love this hairstyle from the Topshop Unique Autumn 2016 runway. Most slicked back/ faux undercut styles are executed in sleek, super straight hair which is why this particular iteration is so great: it breaks the mold by adapting the look to natural textures in a way that’s especially great for Asian and African hair. If you’ve always shied away from the look –made so famous by Gwen Stefani, amongst others– because you can’t achieve that perfect base to begin with, it’s time to celebrate.

Bear in mind though that this is a hairstyle that’s easiest to pull off in short and medium-length hair. You can wear it in long hair (as many of the Kardashian sisters tend to every now and then) but the effect is somewhat diluted.

I think this is a great way to add some drama and edge to a regular lob, and it’s a look that will work well everywhere, including the workplace, provided you wear it with the right attitude.

Vivienne Westwood

Looking for a new way to wear curls? Tired of the usual beachy waves and springy spirals in long hair? How about a riot of curls piled atop your head à la Marie Antoinette. Whether you’re channeling your inner European royal or finally making friends with your natural texture, this is a look that is guaranteed to turn heads.

To recreate the magic of Vivienne Westwood 2016 Autumn Winter show you must remember to keep it fresh and modern. Even though the look is all about the curls, it does involve working with a shiny, healthy frizz-free base.

Whether your hair is naturally curly or you’re using tongs or foam rollers, you will want tight, small ringlets and not big, loose mermaid waves. Gather small manageable sections of curly/curled hair and arrange them atop your head, pinning into place as you go along. If you work slowly and carefully you shouldn't have any trouble using subsequent sections to cover up the bobby pins you’re using. Remember to fold some sections in on themselves, creating little ‘U’ or ‘C’ forms that lay on your head- this will give you more volume without breaking open the little ringlets.

If you’ve got shorter hair on the side or bangs that end above the ear, don’t worry about them hanging loose: so as long as the curls hold well, the overall effect will be maintained. If you’ve got long hair and are having trouble with the look, work from the back to the front, by dividing your hair into horizontal layers. That said, this isn’t a look that will sit well in very, very long hair: your hair will be too heavy and voluminous to fit all of it on the crown and you’re going to run the risk of it collapsing under its own weight. If you’re worried about wear time, I do recommend this hairstyle more for short and medium lengths.

Hairspray is the secret to keeping this baby in place. Remember to add tons of stronghold spray once you’re done pinning. And always, always cross your bobby pins in twos in ‘X’ formation when you’re working on intricate hairstyles.

Sparkly pin twirls and clips are useful not only for blinging up the look but also for making it look more current.

So, I hope the hairstyles from the London Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Week have given you some food for thought. We’ve still got Milan and Paris to look forward to, so don’t go anywhere just yet!