Wednesday, 04 July 2012 10:14

Knowles Knows How

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'If your hair is wreaking havoc on your neck, I say turban it' tweets Celebrity Stylist June Ambrose (below). Apart from the days that you just want to tuck your hair away, head wraps have become a favourite outfit-booster. Not only stabilising what could have been a hair-do failure; they really do add to an outfit. Solange Knowles has pretty much occupied this truth. She has successfully earned an admirable image in the fashion world, and this may have a lot to do with the way she works those voluminous afros or those past-the-behind braids. Even when style changes with season, we see that Knowles has managed to adapt this special head piece with time. But there is a lot more to this wardrobe article that could easily find in any lost and found pile, or in a heap of old and unwanted clothes. I know that in Nigeria, the presence (and size) of one's 'Gele' or 'Ichafu' (head wrap) reflects your social status. Whilst this may now seem an ancient theory, pride and elegance are qualities that sub-consciously make this piece a bonafide part of both traditional and social dressing in the African Community. Similarly, other societies like America's high fashion in the 60s have explored the power behind these head wraps which have notably been sported by Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

It's a myth to believe that this head piece is, or should be locked up away as an old-fashion item. Thanks to the likes of Knowles and Ambrose, a new pattern has been set and the head scarf revived. Its timeless quality may be the reason for its sustained relevance amid the changing seasons of fashion. Gone are the days where head scarves amongst the African community are only pulled out for religious reasons and celebration events. They have now been moulded into fashion's flexible characteristics of street, urban, retro chic and much more. Did I mention its economically viable? I don't know how many wardrobe pieces can maintain its flavour and remain conveniently accessible to all like that of the head wrap. Maybe its because its a hand-styled item (now as a turban) and so can adapt to any fashion rhythm. It has moved from the traditional borders of Africa, to the shores of high fashion. Check out Miss Knowles working fashion's favourite hair piece, in all different shapes and sizes.

Celebrity Stylist June Ambrose seen here in her turban number.

Solange (photographed by Patrik Sehlstedt Realisation)

For her head wrap she wears a silk scarf by Louis Vuitton. There is something both captivating yet liberating about this piece; the silk touch and heavily adorned neck suggests royalty, while the over-sized denim jacket and cut-out t-shirt gives a rugged and urban feel to the outfit. Simply, the LV head piece has been a main transformer tool for this shoot.


Even when off official duty, Solange has never been off style duty! (source

Solange seen here again sporting the same jacket with Michelle Williams. (source

The head-band style is especially good for those grown-out-braids days when you want to keep those roots under cover. 


Nothing says Afro-queen better than bold, long braids and a beautifully fitted ankara head piece. It also has a bohemian feel to it. (Sources naughtsnotcrosses).

Solange on vacation earlier this year with her son Julez

I love this retro-like piece. A colourful head piece can sometimes replace the need for an over-done jewellery set or hand-bag choice.


Solange did it again with complementing outfit with head piece. For those days you want to work the natural hair, let the head wrap do all the work! (source

DJ Solange

Don't be afraid to mix your elegant outfit and heels, with a boyish rugged look. This bandanna looking piece won me over with the leopard print details. This season, with print, you win!

If you don't have a head mannequin to use, I suggest practising head scarf tying on a willing friend. There are many ways to tie a head-scarf and practising is a great way to master your own technique. If you are completely lost, simply google ideas for styling with head scarves. 

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