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Feb 2016
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Velvet-wrapped ponytails popped up on the models at Suno’s fall 2016 show.


THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Much like the topknot and the hun (half-up bun), it appears the velvet-wrapped ponytail could be the latest hashtag-able hairdo. While Vogue.com declared “Suno Just Solved Your Date-Night Hair Situation: Meet the Velvet-Wrapped Ponytail,” the look isn’t entirely new.


French hairstylist Odile Gilbert created the look using Kerastase products for models walking the runway at Suno’s fall 2016 show — and she also created velvet-wrapped chignons for the models three years ago at Monique Lhuillier’s fall 2013 show. But, the velveteen pony that had fashionistas in a frenzy at Suno was previously seen at a shoot last November for The Hollywood Reporter’s Beauty Issue.


MONDAY MUSE: #ElizabethOlsen rocking an edgy, wrapped ponytail that @marktownsend1 created for #THRbeauty” (Photo: @carolmccolgin)

It was the genius of red-carpet hairstylist Mark Townsend, whose clients include Rachel McAdams and Dakota Johnson. Townsend had originally created a silk-velvet wrapped low ponytail for client Elizabeth Olsen to wear to the I Saw the Light premiere in Nashville: “Lizzy texted me and said I am thinking about a ribbon in the hair, so when she said she wanted a ribbon, I brought about 20 options — leather, suede, velvet — different widths.


“At first we were just going to wrap the ponytail at the base with a very small ribbon, but Lizzy said ‘Let’s really go for it, like, let’s use more,’ so I wrapped the entire ponytail,” recalled Townsend. He opted to go a step further and create an even bolder, edgier version — similar to the ones seen at Suno — for THR’s beauty shoot on Nov. 2 at The Row’s Melrose Avenue store in Los Angeles. “We wanted to give it a more editorial feel,” said Townsend.

NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 17: Actress Elizabeth Olsen attends the premiere of “I Saw The Light” at The Belcourt Theatre on October 17, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.

How to get the look? Townsend divided the hair it into three sections and secured them with elastics to make three separate ponytails. He then used a single piece of velvet to wrap them all together, securing with black bobby pins (sprayed with dry shampoo for extra hold).


Backstage at Suno, Gilbert crisscrossed the velvet “like a corset” and knotted it occasionally in the back to keep the ribbon from slipping. Or, why not revisit runway shots from Lhuillier’s fall 2013 show and create a hybrid of the velvet-wrapped bun and currently coveted pony — a velvet-wrapped top knot perhaps?

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