Pippi Longstockings they weren’t. Braids, usually synonymous with cute and innocent, stimulated the optic nerve this season with slick detailing and a heavy dose of quirky chutzpah. At Givenchy, hairstylist Luigi Murenu crowned swanlike sirens with beefed-up braids—very Swiss Miss with a twist. John Galliano’s sweet country gals tied up their crimped plaits with velvet bows, while design duo A.F. Vandevorst brought street cred to French braids by zigzagging shoelaces through them.
Meanwhile, braided accessories hit a theatric high at Viktor & Rolf’s fall show, where flawlessly manicured ladies hid behind cross-plaited fencing masks made of hair. Perhaps best of all the braid winners were Rochas designer Olivier Theyskens’ chimney sweep girls, who wore ladder-like braided headbands in hues that contrasted with their hair color.