Fashion month for Spring 2020 is in the books, and it appears schoolgirl braids are making a comeback at the dawn of the new decade. Seen on runways like Dior, Max Mara, and Antonio Marras, they will undoubtedly return next summer. The new trend brings a new maturity to a hairstyle that has long had an association with youth. Paired with a diverse range of aesthetics, the braids leave their childish side behind to become assumed, feminine, and more daring than ever.
Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her latest Dior collection in a forest environment in hopes of emphasizing the need for sustainability and diversity. Featuring gardener outfits, tie-dye, and a lot of straw, the show needed a rural hair aesthetic to match, so models rocked a slightly disheveled, natural-looking version of the braids. One can almost conceptualize the models having done their hair themselves before heading out to check on their botanical world.
At Max Mara, Ian Griffiths imagined a range of looks for the female 007, resulting in a show full of tailoring, cool tones, and some unforgettable supermodel moments. To bring a lighter look to the impeccably structured tops while still meaning business, the brand employed tight pairs of braids, tapering from models' smooth middle parts to a skinny point. Still tinged with a certain docility, this '90s-reminiscent hair trend brings out a small transgressive side, balancing the strict silhouettes of the collection for something empowering but still fun.
Though schoolgirl braids have been around for a long time in their namesake context, one of their most memorable fashion moments was in the '90s, when Britney Spears rocked the trend. In the video for her early hit "...Baby One More Time," which turns 21 next week and has spawned a host of exciting recreations, the pop star's pleated skirt, tied button-up, and over-the-knee stockings warranted nothing less than schoolgirl braids with fluffy decor at the top. The iconic look paired with the choreography brought a rebellious aesthetic to uniform style and helped to make the look a must-have.
Though in the modern day, schoolgirl braids are really just now exploding, it wasn't without some prior hints. Bella Hadid, who has been around for a few years but still proved to be the model of the moment during a stellar runway season, was ahead of the curve when she wore the hairstyle on her Mykonos vacation over the summer. Prada's Fall 2019 collection, which showed in February, took its inspiration from Wednesday Addams and thus employed the classic look before the rest.
Able to work for a range of lengths and textures while balancing sophistication with playfulness, schoolgirl braids are bound to catch on in the streets as much as they have on the runway. As an added bonus, the style leaves hair voluminous and textured, so choosing to rock braids one day can lead to a different but equally fun look for the next. Here's to one of the easiest hair trends of the season, so you can spend your extra time in the morning on skincare or creating a Euphoria-inspired makeup look.