Sew easy: Shake up your holiday look with this sewn-up hair style

My early fall was jammed with weddings. I attended four over the span of five weeks, two of which were my brother’s–a Jewish ceremony in the Berkshires followed the next night by a dinner reception in Yonkers, and then a Chinese banquet four weeks later in Toronto. By the time the hometown celebration rolled around and I was wearing my mauve silk ’20s-inspired dress for the third time, I needed to do something to shake up what had become my Fall 2010 wedding uniform. My solution? An updo, something I hadn’t had done since my own wedding, and a way to deviate from your usual look for the barrage of holiday parties that will soon be eating up our calendars.

On a recommendation (thanks, Leeanne at Tips Nail Bar!), I booked in with Allison Kam at Robin Barker Hair’Sociates (84 Yorkville Ave., 416-960-5545). We exchanged some preliminary emails discussing the look, my dress and a photo I had taken backstage at Donna Karan’s Spring 2011 show in New York a few weeks before: a folded-up style by Eugene Souleiman that was beyond gorgeous. Kam suggested sewing up the hair using a plastic needle and thread, rather than using bobby pins. The hell? She explained that although it sounds crazy, it “helps put the hair up in a softer way,” and that it would spare me removing millions of bobbies at the end of the night–all I would need to do is cut the thread and pull it out.  Sewing also “ensures that the hair will hold a lot longer without any of the pins moving around.” OMG. I was in.

After working in some Kevin Murphy Anti.Gravity Oil Free Volumiser and drying my hair, Kam proceeded to sprinkle in the brand’s Powder.Puff, which she compared to “fairy dust” and hailed it for giving “the nicest, messiest texture and volume.” She mentioned that some stylists fear sewing because of its unpredictable nature–as you pull your thread through, you never know what shape you’re ultimately going to get. “That’s what’s exciting about it for me,” she says. And even though you get more security with the tighter hold, you can “still pull out pieces as you go along.” The end result of this technique, which Kam learned at a seminar taught by Kevin Murphy himself, was an amazing mash up of the Donna Karan fold, meets the half-fallen-out-French-twists-that-were-then-smooshed-riding-asleep-on-a-bus masterminded by Paul Hanlon at Proenza Schouler. I could not have loved it more. In fact, I couldn’t bear to take the thread out of my hair until well into the next afternoon.

View a gallery of the inspiration and product used to get this look»

View a gallery of mussed up hair styles on the Fall 2010 runway»

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