The fact that ponytails have transcended their former station as the preferred hairstyle of “girl-next-door” types and female basketball players alone is not news; the easy updo has, for the past few seasons, gotten plenty of action off the court and on the runway and red carpet (Hailee Steinfeld’s well-played pony and white Prabal gown at the Golden Globes immediately comes to mind). But the coif is having a special moment for Fall, turning up in all four fashion capitals with regularity and variation—which is great news for those of you who are probably, definitely never going to work all of those equally abundant teased, voluminous French twists into your repertoire come September.
It all started at Alexander Wang, where Guido Palau fashioned a very low, loose ponytail in which more hair was purposely left out of the elastic than was contained by it. Palau then debuted the “dominatrix ponytail” at Marc Jacobs, as he called it, using Redken’s Blown Away 09 Blow-Dry Gel and a flat iron to get the severe “perversion of convention” he was after. A similar look appeared in London at Nicole Farhi before graphic center parts and fishtail braids joined the party at Christopher Kane. Shortly after, things got high, tight, and conical at Kinder Aggugini—a style that was repeated almost to a T by Eugene Souleiman at Issey Miyake yesterday, albeit with the addition of white triangular shapes extending beyond the hairline. Texture became a key element for both the thick, frizzy tails at Issa and the matte wavy styles at House of Holland before things moved to Milan, where the standout pony arrived early on at Gucci, thanks to Luigi Murenu’s seventies-era glossy-in-front, crimped-in-back tails, which he embellished with feathers for Frida Giannini’s second ode to disco.
Here in Paris, we’re seeing much of the same—low and loose at Balmain, high and lacquered at Mugler, soft and contained by a gold band at Dries, and braided for ease and simplicity at Lanvin. “The great thing about the ponytail is that it’s without reference,” Guido Palau surmised of the coiffing establishments partiality for the style when we caught up with him at backstage at Alber Elbaz’ show. “We’ve basically been using the emotional attachment of the ponytail but adding a character to it. Now, you wear a ponytail with an evening dress and it’s not wrong—it’s almost de rigueur. It’s full hair looks that seem wrong.” Word on the street from a very reliable source is that the pony will strike again tomorrow at Celine. Get psyched.