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Fashion & Style: Gina Rivera talks about transferring runway looks to real life

One of the most interesting, and entertaining, things about watching the fashion runways is to witness what survives.

The hair designs that emerge from behind the curtains sometimes are so dramatic and farfetched that, other than making even a muted appearance in one of the fashion centers of the world, they get very little exposure and quickly disappear. The creations unveiled last fall for this spring and summer, though, seemed really quite plausible. I loved them, and it’s no surprise to see so many variations remain popular. I missed some of the more outrageous styles, though. Whether we’d ever don that ‘do or not, we can marvel, sometimes laugh and always wonder how it might filter down to the streets of real life. And, as we sometimes find, those wilder creations catch on, maybe not in full bloom, but on a smaller scale.

The styles presented for this spring and summer fell into several categories: braids, side parts, ponytails, wet looks and undone ‘dos. There were others, including waves and bobs, but these latter designs seem like welcome continuations to me, rather than potential trend setters, although there was a lot of creative variation in the bobs with some beautifully striking edge lines characterized by just the most gently tapered finish. So many of the hairstyles presented were elegant, striking and beautiful, yet practical with wonderful variations, which may be why we see so much of them now.

Among the braids were some romantically loose gatherings at one extreme, to a revival of traditional braid crowns, also called milkmaids. Other designs included thin, tight, lone braids among the waves of a shoulder-length bob. Braids never go away completely, but subside, and it’s been great to see them make such a strong return with terrific variety all at once.

The ponytail and side part, also, are staples that never leave the scene entirely. A ponytail is just so practical for sports, in particular, that we can’t do without it. And, in many ways, the ponytail’s popularity now is really about beautiful, healthy hair that is sometimes gathered loosely for a relaxed look and other times brought together in a uniform tail that’s just as suitable for a steel-gray suit and executive office as a jog. The drama of the side part has to do with how far down the side it goes, and stylists successfully demonstrated that it can be worn way, way down, and that it can be executed with terrific precision. This can be combined beautifully with a ponytail.

The wet looks and undone ‘dos seemed a little overdone at times on the runway, but I still think they have a great place in the mix. Occasionally, I’ll spot someone on the street with the undone messy look and decide, “no, that’s just messy,” which makes it the perfect “non-style” for a lazy Saturday morning. The wet look, when it’s not really wet, can take some gel to maintain the illusion, but while it’s not my choice and I haven’t seen it very often, other than just outside the gym locker rooms and sauna, it is a welcome addition to the lineup.

A style that is making a recent surge into spring with strong aspirations for summer is the ombre, and no wonder. These ‘dos feature striking dual tones with extraordinary variation which, like the braids and ponytails, may be why they are so very popular right now. The colors range from soft golden honey to dark smoldering ember that just glows amid reels of long swirling locks.

As always, be open to change.