There's no catchphrase hairstylists like using backstage during fashion week more than: "We wanted the hair to look like she could have done it herself." Mistakes and stray wisps of hair are deemed sweet, not sloppy. Professionals who could completely tame a model's hair choose to dial back their talents. This sort of hairstylist-speak isn't a new thing — Fashionista reported on it in 2009, for instance — but the looks they create, as with designers' clothes, do evolve somewhat from season to season.
Backstage at Prabal Gurung, lead hairstylist Anthony Turner expounded on his love of a homemade vibe to a semicircle of beauty reporters. For the show, he'd twisted models' hair back from the temples and pulled it into a weathered-looking ponytail, the inspiration being a girl who'd gone, rather romantically, "for a bit of a wander in a forest." Here, unevenness and flyaway strands were a big win.
How the hell do you convincingly engineer imperfection? Go fast, Turner advises, rather than doing the look perfectly and retroactively teasing out loose pieces of hair. "I think the faster you do it, the mistakes will just happen. When you take it too slow, you make it too perfect, and then when you try to make those mistakes happen, it almost feels too considered," he said. "I secure it quickly, then leave it."
Or better yet, lack hairstyling skills entirely. If a professional has to hurtle through his process to create an appealing sense of carelessness, someone less adept with products and tools could probably go slightly slower and still wind up just fine in the mistakes department.