Who wouldn’t want a party season blow-dry worthy of a princess?
Only this year, it seems that it isn’t Kate’s glossy bouncing curls or Meghan’s on-the-perfectly-manicured-side-of-messy bun that’s turning heads, but the queen of the up-do, Princess Margaret, who’s stolen the crown for most coveted coiffure.
Perhaps The Crown is to answer for that: since the drama retuned to our screens last Sunday we’ve found ourselves contemplating the merits of the perfect chignon. Or maybe it’s got something to do with fashion’s obsession with the dishevelled debutante look (see studded Alice bands and toothache-inducingly pink twin-sets for more details).
Either way, a gravity defying bouffant is the heir-do ruling this Christmas party season. Guest list dependent, the tiara is optional.
At cult hair hotspot Hershesons, a millennial-friendly take on this look is currently king.
Following an audit of its agenda-setting blow-dry bar menu, the brand has replaced a clutch of former favourites, including the Dirty Ballerina plaited top-knot and the knotted bunches known as Twisted Sista, with a fresh intake of zeitgeisty client-requested styles such as The Pleat.
In essence, it’s a classic chignon — or French Pleat — with a modern twist. Think tight at the sides, high on the t op and with just a smidgen of a side parting, finished with cascade of face-framing sections at the front.
“The hero of the new menu is undoubtedly The Pleat,” confirms mastermind Luke Hersheson. “After seasons of undone styles, an up style that’s classic and cool feels modern and empowering.” He describes the look as “the Amazonian confidence of early Nineties supermodels” — think Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford — with a “dash of quintessentially British high society”, though he considers the look to be less rebellious royal and more Rachel Green circa 1997.
“There is a generation that sees Jennifer Aniston in the early seasons of Friends as a bit of an icon and we want to channel that vibe,” he says, name checking modern millennial muses like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski as prime examples.
But whether you’re hoping to channel HRH or the sitcom heyday heroine, Hersheson believes that this return to “proper hair styling” marks an end to the dishevelled, low-maintenance looks that have dominated the past decade. “The French chignon used to be the first hair-up hairstyle that was taught in the Nineties to aspiring hairstylists, but a lot of these skills have been lost over time with the trend for very undone, almost DIY, hairstyles,” he says. “We always want to challenge the status quo and hopefully bring our customers looks that they don’t know they want until they see it.”
The Pleat is available at Hershesons from £35 for 30 mins.