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Braids Go Wild


John Galliano's latest show for Dior was held recently in the gorgeous Versailles palace, also referred to as "the palace of the Sun Kings".

The clothes were stunning, the models were incredibly beautiful and the hairstyles were unbelievable.

The show was described as "spectacular with savoir-faire, creativity and skillful extremes".

The hairstyles were no exception and extreme braids were utilized to add drama and suspense to the clothing.

The collection's stupendous images were topped by the unusually brilliant braided warrior hairstyles created specifically for Dior by the immensely skilled stylist, Orlando Pita.

The braids were designed to symbolize high tech warriors and cosmic goddesses. Hence the style became known as the "warrior or goddess braids".

The model's faces were decorated with different types of war paint in the form of bold and dramatic stripes and colors to carry the warrior/goddesses theme to completion.

The braided warrior/goddess hairstyles enhanced highly sophisticated and exotic clothing. Brightly colored threadlike materials was used to tightly wrap around each individual braided section.

The threadlike wrap materials was selected to match the brilliant colors of the gowns and outfits.

The braids were created by sectioning the hair in small areas from ear to ear across the crown. The hair was then wrapped in the thread and the hair that was left at the end of the thread column was then braided.

The ends of each braided section was connected to each other to form a long braided column at the top of the wrapped sections. The wrapped braids were started at the very front of the crown and ended at the nape of the neck. Leftover hair at the nape of the neck was braided and looped.

The height of the wrapped sections from the crown depended on the amount of hair that the model had to be wrapped and braided.

Would it be possible to re-create this look on your own? Maybe, but I would suspect that it would take a lot of practice.

The finished look of the wrapped braids was stunning and worked well to create the warrior/goddess image. The look could also be described as a braided Mohawk.

Several of the Dior models sported the unusual braided look in every color from bright red to elegant black.

With the great popularity of hair extensions for 1999, many women have the option of having long extensions applied to their hair and then have their hair wrapped and then hair braided into a warrior/goddess braid.

Whether they were wearing their own natural locks or had help from extensions, it didn't alter the spectacular visions of the Dior models with these exotic braided styles.

If you examine some of the photos from the Dior show closely you will see that the wrapping varied in thickness. Some of the wraps were thin while others like the black wrapped style above, were shorter and thicker.

One probably key to successfully creating these braids is to design the style to work well with the length and thickness of the hair so that the final row of wrapped columns on the crown is evenly balanced.

The warrior/goddess braid displayed to the right is designed around a center part with two rows of wrapped braids.

Although all of the styles that were photographed at the Dior show did not have bangs, there is no reason why they could not be part of the look.

A key is to adopt the style and make it your own.

There are many options you can adopt with this warrior braid look. You can pin the braid at the nape of the neck into a long loop, you can add jeweled hair pins, flowers or other decorations to offset the wraps. You can also wear tiny floating hair jewels like floating hair bugs, stars or hearts.

Experiment and find the look that works best for you. The beauty of these goddess/warrior braids is that they can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the event. Also, it will definitely create a dramatic impression.

Since the braids were just recently showcased on the 1999 Autumn runways, it may take a few months for them to reappear in the United States. You can get the jump on the hair industry and try the braids the next time you want to make a major entrance.

Have fun and be willing to try lots of variations to create multiple looks.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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