Brilliant Pink Haired Moments on the Catwalk

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A history of pink hair's presence on the catwalk

Pink hair has been adored for years now – particularly in fashion. If Instagram proves anything with its streams of iconic women like Brigitte Bardot and Twiggy with photoshopped hairstyles in hues of sticky sweet cotton candy and deep fuchsia, the trend is not going anywhere soon; it’s simply evolving. The runway has had a long-standing love affair with the colour since the 90s, when Kate Moss walked for Versace with a head of salmon strands. Recently, newcomer Fernanda Ly walked at Louis Vuitton A/W15 with a striking cascade of candy coloured hair and stole the show. 

The look can be traced back to the original iconoclasts of the past. Textile designer Zandra Rhodes has had a neon pink bob for the majority of her career, and there is evidence that blonde ladies in WWII-era London began asking salons for a pink hue since their beige uniforms too closely matched their hair. By 1937, an Austrian hair stylist dubbed Leo of Vienna – who worked with the Duchess of Windsor – told a newspaper that “tender rose” was the new must-have colour for hair. Here, in honour of its current manifestation on the runway, we examine the most brilliant pink haired moments in fashion...

Kate Moss for Versace S/S99
Kate Moss specifically dyed her hair a bright shade of salmon pink for Versace’s S/S99 show. Worn pin-straight with a deep centre part and minimal makeup, the colour contrasted beautifully against Donatella Versace’s bodycon dresses and skirts rendered in pastel colours. One of the most iconic photos of Kate Moss remains the image of her tucked in bed under the covers with faded pink hair, photographed by Juergen Teller a short time afterwards.

Comme des Garçons A/W09
As Laura Bradley previously explored, designer Rei Kawakubo frequently indulges in a pink colour palette set against a sea of blacks. Kawakubo’s pinks come heavily textured and sculptural – rough around the edges and free of the femininity that is often associated with the colour. This particular updo in the A/W09 collection showed Kawakubo’s brilliant creative direction; the fuchsia ‘do, woven in separate mounds, took on its form with a delicate piece of tulle wrapped around it.

Meadham Kirchhoff S/S11
The hair on the runway at Meadham Kirchhoff’s S/S11 was a mix of colours, worn parted to the centre with low-slung pigtails. Deep fuchsia faded to orange on one side, while navy blue faded to green on the other, resulting in a watercolour effect. It was a great moment for hair colour overall, but with the Courtney Love-inspired babydolls and acid wash denim jackets, it was a glorious interpretation of 90s grunge modernised for the 21st century.

Charlotte Free for Jeremy Scott A/W11
Ever since she was 15, model Charlotte Free has been dying her hair pink, and it has since become one of her trademarks, featuring in shows from Vivienne Westwood to Chanel. But it is the sky-high, 90s club kid pigtails seen at Jeremy Scott A/W11 that is her strongest pink look. The aesthetic for the collection was part anime, part pop star, and she opened the show wearing a tee that mimicked a classic Coca Cola can but given a wry twist typical of Scott's commentary on consumer culture.

Chloe Norgaard for Rodarte A/W14
Chloe Norgaard has had almost every hair colour under the sun: rainbow, purple mixed with teal, yellow, orange and everything in between – and most impressively, she does it all herself. For Rodarte’s A/W14 show, she drenched her hair in pastel tones of pink and lilac, dark roots showing through. Rodarte are known for their whimsical textiles and fairytale-like codes, with that particular season’s parkas embellished in glitter worn with smocked dresses and nubby berets. Norgaard reportedly dyed her hair to match the clothing in the show and said, “In the last two days, I've dyed it two or three times – we wanted to make sure the extensions and my hair matched, and that it all matched the collection.”

Hanne Gaby Odiele for Marc Jacobs A/W14
To complement the meringue-like gowns, furs and sequined tops done up in pastel blues, pinks and greys, the models at Marc Jacobs A/W14 all wore chin-length wigs in tonalities that matched the clothes. Hanne Gaby's hair had almost a fleshy hue, while others' leaned towards a pastel, greyish pink and some were more beige, but all had hints of the shade. The colourist Victoria Hunter said, “Marc asked me if I could come up with something kind of mink-y, old-lady, that had that kind of antique-y look about it. We came up with five different shades: a mauve, a brown – which we were calling 'mink', a beige – a very grey-ash colour – and a flesh colour, and a Nordic blonde.”

Fernanda Ly for Louis Vuitton A/W15
For A/W15, Nicolas Ghesquière looked back to the 70s with plush fur coats, minimal blazers and lots of leopard print. The hair was natural – save for one model, newcomer Fernanda Ly. Perhaps the most talked about model of the show, she sported a fluffy white coat with long bubblegum-coloured locks worn with a heavy fringe. Like Chloe Norgaard, the model explains that her hair has also been every colour imaginable, “I’ve been red, a dark red, then I went to blonde. There are pictures of me with blue hair, purple hair, all different colours – pink just seemed right at the time.”