Valentino’s overarching beauty aesthetic has long centered on fresh skin and plaited manes—but on recent runways, braids; ponytails; and soft, pulled-back waves have been continually elevated by a treasure trove of adornments. Backstage stylist Guido Palau relies on a selection of decorative, romantic takes on the crown—often crafted by artist Alessandro Gaggio—to complement ensembles and imbue lengths with a femininity that toes the line between contemporary and old world.
On the Fall 2011 couture runways, wreaths of delicate daisies and forget-me-nots took wiry metallic form as if they were flash-frozen before being placed upon otherwise simple low buns. Headbands in all forms—literal braids dyed to match models’ natural hues; strips of thick black leather; and burgundy wraps dotted with gold—offered a similar instant upgrade, turning simple over-the-shoulder plaits and piece-y, pulled-back lengths into aspirational styles rife for re-creation. In 2015, romantic twists and braids woven with sea-inspired baubles and freshly picked wildflowers read nymphlike, as if the Valentino girl need only wander down a garden path in preparation for a runway show.
And for the past year, gilded crowns have taken on new guises: Models became Byzantine princesses via hairline-grazing, golden tiaras, while, in Spring’s couture collection, flower crowns were forsaken in favor of serpentine headpieces that slithered around the backs of loose lengths, resting on either side of the forehead and adding a slightly sinister feel to an otherwise angelic beauty look. Above, the best of Valentino’s unique headpieces that will stand as a reminder for those watching tomorrow’s Fall 2016 show: Look up.
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