Embellished Braids Were the Big Beauty Story at Chanel's Métiers d'Art Show

Hairstylist Sam McKnight didn't let the ample hats, veils and other headgear present on the runway get in the way of his craft.
By Stephanie Saltzman,
Photo: @chanelofficial/Instagram

Hairstylist Sam McKnight didn't let the hats, veils and other fabulous headgear present on the Chanel Métiers d'Art runway on Wednesday get in the way of his craft. In fact, he seemed to glean inspiration from them, working around them in creative, inspired ways. For the French house's Hamburg show, held in the beautiful Elbphilharmonie concert hall venue, McKnight wove a series of eye-catching braids that hung down the models' backs, beneath all that tweed, tulle and ribbon (you can see them if you look closely).

While not every model received McKnight's intricate braids – Anna Ewers, for example, wore her wavy hair loose — the ones who did showcased an eclectic and aptly artistic approach to hair. One variation, which McKnight referred to on Instagram as "nautical knots," featured two low braids, woven from four strands to create a rope-like effect:

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Meanwhile, McKnight also took the opportunity to champion the return of the fishtail braid, which arguably peaked as a trend somewhere around 2013 and has been seen less frequently in the years since (except on Pinterest, of course). The Chanel version of a fishtail is loose and wispy at the front, but more precise — not a hair appears to be out of place — at the plait in back. 

Stella Maxwell wore this specific look, topped off with a tweed hat and a blinged-out Chanel brooch placed at the nape of the neck.

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McKnight has been known to post mesmerizing behind-the-scenes videos that show his hairstyles coming together (see one example here), so here's hoping he does the same for this crop of braided looks soon.

Update, Dec. 6, 4:06 p.m.: McKnight did, indeed, follow through with behind-the-scenes braid videos, taking to Instagram to post them several hours after the show on Wednesday. Watch (and enjoy!) them below:

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