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Fashion & Style: Gina Rivera on Center parts & Long hair

Sherrie Wilson

Runway hairstyles at Valentino during Paris Fashion Week were both exemplary and exceptional of the artistry on these runways as the last of the ‘Big Four’ neared a grand finish.

We’ve seen elements of these cuts throughout the four consecutive Fashion Weeks that began in New York before crossing the Atlantic for London, Milan and then Paris.

The hair for much of Valentino’s show was long and natural, parted down the middle with gentle wispy waves over the neck and shoulders. Colors were chosen from a natural palette of beachy blondes and caramels to creamy mochas. Tonal transitions were soft. The hair was gathered simply in back with braids or a twist. This was simple, chic and beautiful, a trend.

Then Valentino wove an elegant, understated, leafy filigree of gold through the braid or twist in back. It was a perfect match for the tunic dresses and strappy roman sandals.

For hair stylists, there is so much to work with on these runways. This is about the clothing that these top fashion designers are selling for the spring and summer next year, but the hair is trend setting, too, and, while we may have to wait for some of the styles to hit the racks, the hair is something that can happen instantly.

The fashion houses of Dior and Chloe also presented clothing lines with long, natural looking hair with beautiful shine and parts down the middle. Unlike Valentino, Dior and Chloe designers left the hair loose and unadorned, a simple, clean beautiful look.

Designer Elie Saab went with a more casual part nearly centered and with long, wavy, windswept locks in a relaxed look.

Balenciaga also went with long hair parted in the middle but in a very controlled, shiny finish to complement the contemporary, geometric shapes and lines.

The fashion house of Carven was something of an outlier with hair at Paris Fashion Week, going with a long, loose look at the ends but a double part and very shiny, slick-back treatment over the crown. There is always room for standouts and the double part is a young, handsome possibility for a controlled finish that went really well with the Carven line of bold, youthful colors, patterns and textures.

So, apparently, the center part and long, wavy locks are here to stay because if Paris says it’s so, then it is. This is ‘60s retro but a classic look that clearly accommodates a vast spectrum of fashion. Ask your stylist how to get it right. This looks easy to do but depends on healthy hair and shine with subtle, sophisticated coloring to create understated depth.

What we’re watching in Paris, of course, are the fashions for next spring and summer, but it was clear from shots on the streets of Paris that no one is waiting to change their hair, and I found myself thinking that this look is, indeed, a classic that can work for fall and winter, too, and it can be easily arranged with a braid, ponytail or bun on the run to change the look.

As always, be open to change.