Over the past few seasons, fashion has gotten back on the scrunchie bandwagon, with the '90s staple accessory making appearances in Vogue, on Bella Hadid and at Mansur Gavriel's September show. And now it's time to go rifle around in your mom's accessories stash again. For his Fall 2018 runway show on Saturday, Alexander Wang decided to pull another iconic hair accessory from the trend archives of decades past: the banana clip.
Also sometimes referred to as a claw clip — several other editors and I debated its official name backstage before having the fruit-centric moniker confirmed by hairstylist Guido Palau himself — the spring-loaded, dual-sided hair comb experienced its heyday in the '80s and early '90s.
"This is Alex Wang's take on the power woman, kind of inspired by the '80s and when we first saw female empowerment in the office," said Palau in an interview backstage before the show. And yes, of course, the clips are a bit tongue-in-cheek and self-aware. "Alex was looking at... the sort of irony of these clips that at that point [in the '80s], they were kind of new, and then they had a bad connotation; we're sort of seeing them again through different eyes."
The specific clips, which a majority of the models wore for the show, were custom Alexander Wang accessories in a bright-silver shade, stamped with the designer's logo along the side. "A lot of the girls in this show they don't even know what these are," said Guido, making me feel 100 years old, "so it's a new take on a banana clip for them."
As far as the actual hairstyling process, Guido and his team began by blow-drying models' hair smooth using the newest iteration of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer. Then, he smoothed Redken Mess Around 10 Disrupting Cream-Paste through the front of the hair and crown of the head before combing it back, creating intentional comb marks in the hair for a "masculine, sort of powerful look."
The hair was then pulled into a ponytail and wound into a sort of figure-eight shape before it was pinned to the head with the placement of a French twist — but just the placement of one. "The look is kind of strong and chic, but without actually doing a French twist, which makes the hair look older," said Guido. "This still feels young; it has a slight irony to it." He finished it all off with a healthy mist of Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Hairspray for intense shine.
While there were no major haircuts (as is often the case for Alexander Wang shows) this time around, one model, EZ (shown above), made the jump from platinum to bright, orange-red hair for the show with the help of Redken colorist Josh Wood. (He'll be restoring her bleached look on Sunday.) Wood also ramped up the vibrance of model Teddy Quinlivan's famous red hue in order to make it more impactful on the runway.
With so much of the focus on the corporate-throwback hair, the nails and makeup were kept incredibly minimal. "This season, the inspiration is all about powerful beauty," said makeup artist Diane Kendal of the no-makeup makeup look. She and her team evened out models' skin tones using Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, Soft Matte Concealer and Soft Velvet Loose Powder, groomed the brows — no dramatic bleaching this time — and then built a super-subtle smoky eye using pale brown eye shadow. Nails were similarly subdued, painted a pale beige (Essie Wild Nude) layered beneath a slightly shimmery topcoat (Essie Au Natural) for a bit of a sheen.
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