Tonight Fiona Apple will play Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors festival, lending her deep sultry voice to Damrosch Park along with the Los Angeles–based folk super group Watkins Family Hour. Her velvety alto is just one of the singer-songwriter’s memorable signatures—another of which, longtime fans can attest, is a knack for pulling off twin braids. Whether delicately pleated at the hairline or woven into two all-encompassing flowing ropes, Apple has made the most of what pioneering and stylish women have known for more than a century—that plaited pigtails can bring an idiosyncratic edge to everything from house parties (see Apple’s music video for the 1997 single “Criminal”) and Instagram selfies to cinematic performances.
In the early 1900s, the Mata Hari found that few things were more beguiling to her audience than a swivel of the hips emphasized by knee-grazing, tassel-embellished braids—a tactic Brigitte Bardot borrowed decades later when she secured her hair with roughed-up texture and a heavy-lidded gaze. There have been plenty of songstresses, to be sure, who embraced the Earth Mother quality of a well-executed set of long plaits (see Joni Mitchell and Juliette Gréco). For Christina Ricci, all that was needed to give a sinister air to her Wednesday Adams schoolgirl plaits was a raven dye job and matching ensemble. Meanwhile, there was Inger Nilsson as Pippi Longstocking, whose anti-gravitational lift provided an element of wonder to her hair and storylines. And even supermodels Kate Moss and Kirsty Hume came to realize that face-framing accents were an irreverent alternative to nineties minimalism. These days, beauty risk takers FKA twigs, Beyoncé, and Rita Ora flex their chameleonic tendencies with ever-changing iterations of the style that range from a miniature to fishtailed flourish. Here’s to the sixteen twin braid enthusiasts who know how to tie one on.
The post Why Twin Braids Are Twice as Much Fun: From Brigitte Bardot to FKA twigs appeared first on Vogue.
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