From archival Thierry Mugler couture to fresh-off-the-runway beauty statements, Kim Kardashian West deftly translates designer fantasy for real-world wear. And throughout the week, the reality star and makeup mogul has been taking crimped hair, which made a number of appearances during fashion month, for a test drive, with stunning results.
It all began over the weekend, when KKW wore a vintage azure-and-violet silk Versace gown, originally donned by Naomi Campbell for Versace’s Spring 1996 show, to Chance the Rapper’s wedding in Newport Beach, California.
Also channeling Campbell’s iconic ’90s look above the neck, she wore her hair slicked back in a half-up style with crimped lengths cascading down to her hips, just as the supermodel did on the catwalk.
And so began a days-long marathon of her sporting the part-plastered, part-rumpled look that artfully toed the line between her beloved I Dream of Jeannie updo (which also received a nod from hair pro Guido Palau at Versace’s Pre-Fall 2019 show last December) and a revival of the polarizing crimped-hair look, which went in and out of fashion during the ’80s, ’90s, and early aughts.
Proving that it’s just as wearable during the daytime (and paired with a decidedly androgynous look), Kardashian West sported the style with an oversize Balenciaga men’s trench coat to husband Kanye West’s music-slash-prayer session, Sunday Service, in Calabasas, California, the next day. Then, reworking the tieback into another half-up ponytail—boasting even more crimped definition with help from hairstylist Justine Marjan—she sported the textured lengths with a slim white bodycon top and a high-waisted reptile-print skirt featuring a thigh slit for a dinner out with her sisters on Tuesday night. After appearing in her KKW Beauty Classic Blossom Collection campaign with brushed-out Pre-Raphaelite lengths last fall, taking on crimped hair was a natural next step for Kardashian West, especially with her retro-revival fever running high. But considering there was an army of fluffy, crimped manes at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Michael Kors during New York Fashion Week, and that Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton each served up buoyant clouds of rippled lengths as Paris Fashion Week drew to a close, it’s likely Kardashian West and her glam team were paying close attention to this season’s catwalks as well.
If you’re planning to test-drive crimped hair, take a page from Kardashian West’s playbook: “What makes this look so modern is that the front is sleek,” explains Marjan. “This gives a cool contrast to the texture.” To re-create the look at home, she suggests prepping the hair with a veil of featherweight hair spray like Tresemmé’s Compressed Micro Mist, smoothing it half up tautly, then using a crimper (GHD’s Contour Professional Performance Crimper is her favorite) horizontally on sectioned-off panels of hair, pressing down gently and not for too long. Following the triumphant return of the scrunchie and a torrent of glitter-pressed gazes, consider crimped lengths next in line for beauty-loving, nostalgia-chasing millennials, with Kardashian West leading the charge.