’Do the Twist
The ability of braids to amplify a cultural message can’t be overstated, which is why plaits continue to show up on runways. This season, Alberta Ferretti used a messy, chunky braid to add an easy touch of glamour. The twisted-braid crown at Alice + Olivia screamed bohemian music festival. Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma featured Joan Smalls sporting four straight-back cornrows along her scalp, at once enhancing the street style feel of the collection and paying homage to the black cultural lineage that inspired its design. That cultural context—and respect—isn’t always reflected, as we saw in Valentino’s “African-inspired” Spring 2016 show. This season, the industry appears to be, slowly but surely, heightening its awareness about the cultural significance of cornrows, box braids and other popularized black braid transformations.
HERBAL ESSENCES COCONUT MILK OIL INFUSED CRéME ($8)
RENE FURTERER VEGETAL TEXTURE SPRAY ($37