As summer winds down and fall heats up, your go-to warm weather hairstyle gets updated with a twist as braids finally receive their major moment in the spotlight on the fall 2013 catwalks. Whether classical and traditional, or elegant and punk-inspired, this season the runways were rife with new, fresh takes on how to rock bold and beautiful braids for fall. In lieu of casual coifs, designers opted to showcase intricate, statement-making tresses in their collections and while re-creating these looks may take some skill and added time, the end result is totally worth it. These top styles spotted at the shows are ones you don’t want to be seen without this season.
1. Side braid
The inspiration behind the sleek and stylish side braid this season is equal parts Victorian and regal with dutch-like roots. Long, glossy plaits like the ones seen in the collections of Valentino and Fendi are just as chic as they are easy to create. Simply brush straightened hair against the back of the head and pull it over to one shoulder. Begin braiding hair just under your ear and finish with a shine boosting spray or serum for luxurious and luminous locks. Feminine, refined and effortlessly elegant, this polished and pretty plait is one even Katniss Everdeen herself would be envious of.
2. Crown braid
Frame your face in the crowning glory of this fall hairstyle as seen on the models at Alice + Olivia and Viktor & Rolf. Whether you want to channel the look of your favourite "Game of Thrones" character or your inner royal, this is not your average milkmaid braid. This season, strike the perfect balance between classic and modern by giving this coronet braid a mused, un-done finish with wisps hanging loosely and naturally around the face to keep it feminine and flirty for fall. Ideal for long locks, begin this hairstyle by braiding two low pigtails and twist them around over your head. Secure your style with the help of bobby pins and a firm hold hairspray. To re-create the whimsical and luxurious texture and blending of the two braids from Alice + Olivia, be sure to stretch out and pull apart the braid to add volume and a natural finish.
3. Fishtail braid
Usually reserved for the heat and humidity of summer, fishtails were surprisingly present on the catwalk at the Christian Siriano show in the form of a chic chignon. Models strutted their stuff with fishtail braids spun into ornate and opulent chignons with what looks to be inspired by the Russian opera. The look was so neat and intricate, it definitely requires the handiwork and patience of a pro. If you're up for the challenge, begin by separating your hair into two pigtails. Since you don't want your locks to be limp, work in a texturizing spray to your hair and begin fishtail braiding each pigtail. Once you're finished, pin your plaits in place by criss-crossing your two fishtail pigtails so they overlap one another. Set your finished look with a firm hold hairspray.
4. Braided bun
Statement-making style starts with these Princess Leia inspired braided buns from Miu Miu and Alice + Olivia. Slicked back, low slung and properly positioned, these fun and playful bold buns are sure to garner loads of attention. Begin with a low hanging ponytail gathered at the nape of the neck and work your hair into three braids, for a total of nine pieces. Wrap and weave each braid around the top of your ponytail to achieve a bun of braids. Another twist and take on this style, as shown by the models at Marchesa, is to wear your hair in a soft romantic and whimsical updo like a classic chignon. Pull hair back, letting it fall loosely around and over your ears, and begin braiding the length of your hair. Twist braids very freely into a triangular shaped chignon and pin in place. If you want to create an ultra-luxe bohemian inspired edge, simply widen the braid using your finger to achieve this natural looking aesthetic.
5. Sideswept braid
The hottest hairstyle sweeping the nation on the coattails of the summer season and now making its way into fall is the sideswept braid, also known as the cornrow. A style that ran rampant in the 90s and early 2000s, the cornrow is back in full force and has been spotted on your favourite style stars. Seen on the likes of Kristen Stewart, Khloe Kardashian and Cara Delevingne, this sideswept style features one or more French braids tightly woven against the side of the head. To get this elegantly edgy look for fall, start by creating a deep side part and begin braiding on the side of the head with less hair. Your braid should begin right above the temple at your hairline and work its way behind the ear. Keep your plait in place with an elastic and a few bobby pins, and you've successfully secured the "it" hair trend this season.