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Designers Are Using Your Terrible Hat Hair as Runway Beauty Inspiration

Not that you should ever need permission to look like crap if you want to.
The look at Kate Spade. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The look at Kate Spade. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

At this point, it seems like makeup artists and hairstylists are going out of their way to both justify and glamorize our crappiest beauty moments. At New York Fashion Week in September, it was all about no-makeup makeup and sweaty hair — art imitating life, if you will. This February? Embrace that hat hair you're coping with, because it's gotten the Fashion Week seal of approval.

Some beauty editors I've spoken with backstage find the realism underwhelming, saying that they just want to see big, bouncy curls again. Their exhaustion is understandable: we're deep in this trend of glorifying the most mundane aspects of beauty, with no clear end in sight. The pursuit of looking effortless has turned into a competition over who looks like she tried the least.

But as hairstylist Bob Racine put it at Kate Spade, charm lies in imperfection — and he's not wrong. Isn't learning to find the beauty in life's little, seemingly shitty moments always a good lesson?

Check out all the variations of hat hair we've seen at the fall 2015 collections thus far.

Creatures of the Wind

At COTW, Anthony Turner (for Bumble & Bumble) dried and brushed out hair to make it look very '70s. Then he ruined it.

"I'm completely destroying it, I’m wrecking the whole thing," he said. 

After the hair dried, he used loads of B&b's Surf Spray to give it a very matte texture, which he worked with his fingers: "Like she's worn a hat and taken it off."

— Cheryl Wischhover

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On the runway at Creatures of the Wind. Phtoo: Imaxtree

On the runway at Creatures of the Wind. Phtoo: Imaxtree

Kate Spade

The girls at Kate Spade had straight, smooth hair, but it wasn't meant to be perfect. Bob Recine (for Fekkai) dried hair straight with a Mason Pearson brush. 

"We wanted the hair straight, but not so much [so it looks like it was done] by the hand of a hairdresser," Recine explained. "The whole idea is we don't want to perfect beauty, because then we sacrifice charm. It's charming, almost like you just took your hat off."

— Cheryl Wischhover


Backstage at DKNY, hairstylist Eugene Souleiman created a mussed-up, minimal look, again playing on the idea of hat hair. His team gave the girls small braids running along the hairline behind the ear, which would later be covered up with hair but functioned to keep the look tight. The top of the head got thoroughly doused in Wella hairspray, covered and then hit with a blow drier. 

— Eliza Brooke

Public School

Bonus round! It was back to sweaty hair at Public School, with a '90s clubbing vibe. Aveda's Global Creative Director Antoinette Beenders gave the girls a center part and then worked up a sweaty look at the top of the head with Aveda Brilliant Retexturizing Gel and Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil, creating little finger waves before covering the whole thing to dry. The bottom half of the hair she left dry and basically untouched.

Total time necessary? Roughly five minutes, Beenders said.

— Eliza Brooke