Some of the most 'out there' hair of late has been featured at fashion shows in London, Paris, Milan and Berlin—as well as at Style Fashion Week in New York and L.A.
In 2001, Art Basel put Miami on the map as an international destination for modern and contemporary art, while also making early December an important and exciting time in South Florida.
This year, over 250 galleries from 31-plus countries are being showcased Dec. 3 – 6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. In addition, a host of ancillary cultural events throughout the city will provide an opportunity for locals to rub elbows with the gallery owners, artists, collectors, and glitterati that gather in South Beach from around the globe.
With the sophisticated, cutting-edge vibe that Art Basel brings, it’s only fitting to take a look at avant-garde and international hairstyle trends, which ultimately have an effect on trends here in the U.S.
Modern hair trends—a history
During the 20th century, fashion and hair trends tended to be defined by the decades, notes Woody Michleb, Keratin Complex’s International Artistic Director for Cut & Style. For instance, think of the bouffant or pompadour of the 1950s, or the “Rachel” and the mullet from the 1990s.
But, as the new century got underway, the overall trend started to be more about the individual, and less about the pack. “After 2010, there’s been no real ‘defining’ style; anything goes,” Woody says. “It’s really more about personality and daring with how far you want to go with your hair.”
Woody characterizes hairstyles today as “an amalgam of the different decades.” Wherever you go, you will see personalized versions of modern mullets, pixie cuts, bobs, layered hair, texture, or straight hairstyles—to name a few. This allows the freedom to go with a style that is most fitting and flattering, rather than trying to follow a look prescribed by “fashion.”
People are also experimenting with color in more daring ways, Woody observes. Stylists are receiving requests to use hair color to add definition, mimic natural highlights, or apply extreme shades for bold expression.
Today’s hair is also benefitting from advances in science. “We have learned a lot about hair; we understand chemistry and the biological part of it,” Woody says. “So we have created a lot of tools and products in the industry that will reconstruct the hair and give it more shine and manageability.”
How hair trends happen
In the United States, mainstream fashion and style trends trickle down from celebrity culture—specifically, from the reigning stars of film, TV, music and (more recently) sports. The pompadour of the 50s was most famously worn by singer/actor Elvis Presley as he shot to fame, while the Rachel was literally inspired by a character with that name on the sitcom Friends, one of the most popular shows of the 90s.
In addition, consumer trends also take a cue from what the fashion designers send down the runways during each showing of their seasonal collections. These styles usually pass through celebrities and other style leaders, via couture designs, and into the ready-to-wear, mass-market category.
Edgier styles, however, typically originate in Europe—which tends to be more daring and fashion-forward than the U.S. For instance, the androgynous look that was all the rage during the 1970s and 80s had its roots in such icons as British fashion model Twiggy, whose boyish haircut—and figure—inspired a generation of copycats; glam rocker David Bowie and his flamboyant alter-ego Ziggy Stardust; and the Jamaican-born singer/actress Grace Jones, who spent her early career as a model in Paris perfecting her Amazonian look—and attitude.
Avant-garde hair trends
Perhaps the most influential styles we see coming out of the international scene fall into the “avant-garde” category. The phrase, which translates to “advance guard" or "vanguard” in English, is widely used to describe anything experimental, unorthodox or daring—especially in the arts (which includes hairstyling).
Some of the most “out there” hair of late has been featured at fashion shows in London, Paris, Milan and Berlin—as well as at Style Fashion Week in New York and L.A., where the Keratin Complex team did the hair for these emerging international designers. Here are a few examples:
EXTREME TEXTURE: Adolfo Sanchez
TOWERING TEXTURE: At the Alexander McQueen fall/winter 2015 runway show in Paris, the models wore “teased hair that adds soft lines while still keeping the overall look edgy,” notes Keratin Complex’s Director of Education Amy Michleb. Meanwhile, Keratin Complex stylists created a similar look at L.A. Style Fashion Week for designer Adolfo Sanchez.
And even male models were getting tousled texture at the Issey Miyake spring 2015 show in Paris, and the Xander Zhou fall/winter 2015 collection shown in London.
BIG UPDOS: Cheri Elizabeth
MESSY BOUFFANTS: Similar to the Ermanno Scervino show in Milan and the Yvonne Reichmuth show in Berlin, the models for Cheri Elizabeth during L.A. Style Fashion Week were given messy updos, accessorized with braids as well as interesting hair ornaments.
BRAID PARADE: Clubwear, Maggie Barry, Style Me Pink
INTRICATE BRAIDS: The braid trend is being pushed to interesting new places on international runways. In L.A., the Keratin Complex team delivered mohawk braids to go with Maggie Barry’s designs, sporty braids for the Clubwear collection, and a fishtail overlay during the Style Me Pink show.
SLEEK SCULPTURES: Anje, Malan Breton
SCULPTED HAIR: Sometimes, the most “forward” hair trend is one that reaches back though history but delivers it in edgy and provocative new ways. One example is the sleek, sculpted look, as seen on women with short hair (Malan Breton, L.A.) and medium hair (Anje, L.A.; Prada, Milan), as well as on men—who wore sculpted hair for the Control Sector and Malan Breton shows in Los Angeles.
GEOMETRIC DESIGNS: One interesting avant-garde trend coming out of Europe is the combination of haircuts with hair-color-blocking to form striking graphic shapes and statements. Leading-edge designers and stylists are offering these looks—accompanied by bold and colorful makeup—that seem right at home with the edgy styles being sent down the runways. Examples include the fall/winter 2015 collections for Sibling in London and Maybelline in Berlin.
Hair trends that go widespread
Eventually, even some of these avant-garde looks—which once seemed so daring—will become watered down enough to become the stuff of everyday style. The hard edges of androgyny, for example, have been softened into the modern pixie cut, which has been transferred via celebrities (Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson have all recently worn versions of it) to streets, shops and offices across America.
So, if you’d like to stay au courant with your own hair, head to a Keratin Complex Salon before checking out the offerings at this year’s Art Basel. May we suggest our Miami Beach Signature Salon, Quattro Hair Salon at 901 Pennsylvania Ave.? Tell them the KeraGirls sent you!