balenciaga scrunchie

An ode to the scrunchie

Because despite what Carrie Bradshaw said, I've always loved mine.

They’re calling it the return of the scrunchie, but I’m not gonna lie: I haven’t stopped wearing one since 1989 when my mum bought me a shiny purple one, the size of a small hula hoop, from Tammy Girl. I also recall picking up a fluorescent green/black polka dot satin number from C&A to match my cycling shorts of choice. GUYS IT WAS THE EIGHTIES. I’M NOT ASHAMED.

Back then, my style inspiration mostly came from the likes of the legendary Topanga from Girl Meets World and/or ALL of the Saved By the Bell girls.

Saved by the scrunchie

But nearly twenty years on, I’ve continued to remain a dedicated member of the scrunch bunch. It’s my longest love affair yet. As I write this, I’m at home with 4589580 cardigans on, like some kind of human Russian Doll thanks to that dastardly #BeastfromtheEast, with my hair tied atop my head in a black velvet scrunchie.

For me, this humble fabric tube is the turn-to hair accessory of choice because they’re a) well cheap (I got my current one from Boots for £3) and b) tangle free; I’m the gal whose hair even gets caught up in those clear elastic “snag free” (LOL) bands. You know the ol’ beauty folklore about sleeping on a satin pillow (being better for your skin/hair)? Yeah, well, it’s that. In scrunchie format.

Oh, and c) you can wear them on your wrist when not “in use’ – I mean, COME ON, that is surely the hair accessory equivalent of a dress with pockets, right?

One more: d) they help to add a little oomph to fine hair like mine when you do a messy bun around one. Top tip right there. You’re welcome.

So you can imagine my… bemusement to see the fashion rags claim that scrunchies are BACK. Yet, for me, my friend, THEY NEVER WENT AWAY. NEVER LEFT MY HEAD SLASH WRIST.

Despite Carrie from SATC dissing then-boyfriend Berger for mentioning a scrunchie in his novel (claiming that no New Yorker in her right mind would be seen dead wearing one at a hip downtown restaurant), scrunchies were only spotted at cult bucket bag label Mansur Gavriel’s show at New York bloody Fashion Week last September.

Unlike the pineapple ponytail style I sported high atop my head in the eighties, this time round models were sent down the runway with their ponies cool, messy and oh-so loooooow. This particular style only available at the Mansur Gavriel store in NYC for around $35, pfffft.

Bonus pounts, however, for the fact they’re made from fancy Italian vintage fabric and omg just look at the knitwear colour coordination:

bumble and bumble for Mansur Gavriel SS18
Image via @bumbleandbumble | Mansur Gavriel SS18

Balenciaga also jumped on the hair-bandwagon (LOL) with their spring/summer 18 resort collection. Their version of the scrunchie – dubbed the Chouchou bracelet OF COURSE – is made in Italy (OF COURSE) from lambskin leather (OF COURSE) and embossed with the Balenciaga logo (OF COURSE). IT ALSO COSTS ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FUCKING POUNDS. And looks a lot like a v angry labia:

balenciaga scrunchie
Balenciaga SS18

Danish brand Comfort Objects sells their handmade “hair clouds” (I shit ye not), made from recycled Hermès scarves, for £83 a piece. I would normally scoff at such a mug-off, but most of the styles are sold out online, so SOMEONE’S buying them. Someone with more money / less sense than me. I reckon you could always swing by Etsy for a similar but less spendy homemade vibe.

I do have a lot of love for this jaunty Ganni style but at £15, they too can jog on. Although it’s probably the only thing I can afford from there tbh.

So I’ll stick with my crushed velvet scrunchie from Boots, thanks guys, knowing I’m at the height of fashion for SS18. Once I lower my ponytail to nape of neck, that is. Cos there ain’t nothing better than getting home from a hard day’s work and taking off your bra, slipping on your comfies and getting your hair off your face via a scrunchie.

Now that’s what I call style. Call me.

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