By CAITLIN AGNEW
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 20, 2018
At the fall 2018 Alexander Wang runway show in New York last February, hairstylist and Redken global creative director Guido Palau put the finishing touch on the designer's vamped-up version of CEO style with a classic working girl accoutrement: the banana clip. "This is Alex Wang's take on the eighties power woman - when we first saw female empowerment in the office," Palau explained to reporters backstage. "The hair is sort of an ironic take on that power woman."
While the nomenclature of this particular coif accessory has been contested by beauty editors and hairstylists alike (some call them claws or butterfly clips, reserving the produce-inspired moniker for the clips that are actually shaped like bananas), what's not up for debate is their renewed favour in fashion.
Like history's most iconic hairstyles, the things we snap into them can define an era. Consider the zigzag headband David Beckham sported circa 2002, Courtney Love's Riot Grrrl baby barrettes or even the fabric scrunchy. Synonymous with the 1980s and early 90s, the scrunchy was famously mocked in a 2003 episode of Sex and the City when Carrie Bradshaw berates her writer beau for referencing one in his novel. "No woman who works at W Magazine and lives on Perry Street would be caught dead at a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchy!" she squeals. Oh, how times have changed. Fifteen years later, that particular magazine has made amends with the scrunchy in multiple editorials, and they've been spotted on fashion insiders such as photographer Petra Collins and model Bella Hadid.
Given the scrunchy's unlikely return from fashion's graveyard, there's certainly hope for the banana clip's transition from ironic to cool. The clips had their heyday in the mid-1990s, when they were worn in the famous manes of Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston, but they were subsequently put under house arrest, relegated to purely practical occasions such as face washing (Clueless's Cher Horowitz, another icon of 90s fashion, only wore her's while watching television).
Today, these curvaceous pieces of plastic are meant to be put back on display. At the Wang show, that was accomplished via the super severe, super polished hairstyle that Palau achieved using Redken's Forceful 23 hairspray. For a less business, more casual approach, look for more novel clips, says Sofia Ikonomi, a stylist at Medulla & Co., hair salon in Toronto. "To me, the main purpose is that you want to show your banana clip," she says. "If you want to just have a casual look with jeans, a T-shirt and a banana clip, you can buy a colourful one, like a little green or pink one, and be in fashion."
Just be prepared for lots of confused looks. If a sartorial risk taker such as Carrie Bradshaw was skeptical of the scrunchy, just imagine how flustered a fuchsia banana clip will make the average person on the street? MAKEUP: THE HOLOGRAPHIC LIP Spotted on the catwalk at Balmain, Jeremy Scott and Sies Marjan, the iridescent fashion trend is now shining its light on makeup and lips specifically. At the fall 2018 Maison Margiela show in Paris, makeup artist Pat McGrath painted models' pouts ultraviolet before slicking them with glitter and a high-shine gloss. The result was positively holographic, not to mention Instagram-worthy. It may look intimidating, but pro skills are not required to take this fantasy look into the real world.
Simply bring it down to Earth with an iridescent gloss that has built-in glitter.
Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Lipgloss in Jawbreaker, $23 at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and Urban Decay (urbandecay.ca).
SKIN CARE: EPIGENETICS As we continue our search for that elusive fountain of youth, skincare researchers are exploring the idea of epigenetics. This study of gene expression looks at how our environment and lifestyle, from the food we eat to how much sleep we get and the quality of the air that we breathe, cause chemical modifications that will turn those genes on or off over time. In skin care, that means brands are creating creams with ingredients such as peptides that are said to stop the expression of the genes that make you look old and tired. It's a scientific approach that some skeptics are filing under science fiction.
Biologique Recherche La Grande Crème, $790 through phsantebeaute.com.
FRAGRANCE: HIGH NOTES The philosophy behind this fall's top fragrance launches isn't about seduction or sweetness but rather living your best life. Louis Vuitton's AttrapeRêves (French for "dream catcher") uses cocoa flower, lychee and bergamot to celebrate life's fleeting moments, while Burberry Her is a fruity-floral scent designed to capture the bold spirit of a Londoner. Chanel released a trio of new scents inspired by the different eras in the life of its adventurous founder including Paris-Biarritz, which has notes of mandarin and a lily-of-the-valley accord to convey the designer's days on the Basque coast. And for Dior's first fragrance launch in 20 years, Dior Joy is a combination of flowers and citrus fruit, wood and musk that's billed as a declaration of love for life.
Dior Joy, $119 at Hudson's Bay (thebay.com).
SPAS: FACIAL WORKOUTS The hottest new workout is all about your cheeks. Britain-based FaceGym is a spa that focuses on workouts for the face to relax and enhance the facial muscles through massage, manipulation and technology. Conducted by a trainer, the workouts consist of a warm up, a cardio phase of custom whipping, flicking and pinching moves followed by a targeted microcontouring technique to lift the jawline, cheekbones and eye area. For the cool down, your trainer will roll a trendy jade stone over your face. FaceGym's first North American location is at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where its bestselling 75-minute Game Face workout will put you back US$275.
FaceGym session, from US$70 through facegym.com.
WELLNESS: MOON RITUALS The moon is finally having its moment in the sun as the star of new wellness rituals. At Toronto meditation studio the Quiet Company, owner Emily Thring offers meditation and intention setting events timed to the moon. This fall, she's introducing a Lunar Phases 101 workshop to help people understand the basics around moon cycles. "It's nice to turn to these traditions to understand how our energy flows through the month," she says, explaining that living in alignment with the lunar cycle is a forgotten practice.
"It also gives you a good excuse to become mindful of how you are spending your time and set intentions for the month ahead."
The Quiet Company unlimited memberships, $165/month through quietcompany.ca.
Models get clipped in at the Alexander Wang Fall 2018 show in New York.
CATWALKING/ GETTY IMAGES