In our ongoing series, From Nada to Prada, we explore the transformative power of a hair switcheroo, as seen in the competitive world of Model Land, where an agency-mandated bang cut or a bleach job can make the difference between booking a Prada campaign or slaving away in the gray ether of e-commerce for the rest of your livelong days.
Sign of the times? California newcomer Miriam Haney started out in late 2013 already beating the industry at its own game, arriving freshly shorn, all bangs and no baggage – just how I like ‘em. Six months later, she’s growing that shit out. Nada to Prada-ing in reverse, as it were. Which begs the question: Is short hair over?
Fashion is all about that pendulum swing: skinny jeans get replaced by wide-legged trousers, ass cheek-baring Balmain minis give way to some calf-grazing Amish business, sky-high triple platforms traded in for the kitten heels Anna Wintour’s been wearing since ‘81. This is how the rich stave off existential boredom, and how smart designers keeps siphoning money from their kids’ college saving accounts. Fashion lives for newness like toxic mold lives for damp, dark motel rooms in the Louisiana bayou.
The same strategy applies to the haircuts we’ve been documenting in our “From Nada to Prada” series. A model’s new bob is essentially the equivalent of a designer’s fresh sleeve proportion, a bang akin to a reinvented silhouette. If it’s new and interesting and unique, someone out there is going to want it. The problem is, of course, when the industry becomes saturated with “new and interesting and unique” to the point that it is, in fact, no longer new or interesting or unique. There will reach a tipping point with these haircuts – the litany of so-called “Karlie Chops” that have rained down on the runways over the last year – and that tipping point will be followed by a backlash. And, oh, how the girls too chicken shit to cut their hair will rejoice in their cowardice.
Seeing Miriam Haney’s willingness to grow out what is, quite honestly, a pretty bangin’ haircut before the trend is definitively over is perhaps indicative of where the industry will be moving over the next few seasons: Less Patti Smith, more Petra Nemcova. You want to be ahead of the game when that particular pendulum swings. The chop is always easier than the grow-out, and prenatal vitamins and horse shampoo can only facilitate the latter so quickly. Miriam Haney is looking like she might be ahead of the game.
Verdict: Prophetically Prada.