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Queens of the Crops: Super short hair regaining momentum

Caitlin Agnew reports on why inspiration for a brave but flattering short cut is filling the runways, and three new reasons to shop

One of pop culture's most standout beauty icons is Sinead O'Connor, the Irish singer whose 1990 video for Nothing Compares 2 U is a study in emotional vulnerability. Zoomed in on her shorn hair and flawless skin, the video showcased the beauty of a super short hairstyle, a trend that is regaining momentum this spring.

In April, model and actress Cara Delevingne debuted a shaved head for her upcoming role in Life in a Year, the 2018 film by Slovenian director Mitja Okorn. Delevingne follows in the footsteps of stars like Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Demi Moore, all of whom famously shaved off their hair for movie roles. This androgynous look is also seeing increased traction on the runway, on models like Ruth Bell and Jazzelle Zanaughtti. While the look is nothing new (Grace Jones was a pioneer in the 1970s), in 2017 it continues to challenge traditional notions of femininity through its nonconformity.

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Toronto-based hairstylist Chanel Crocker shaved off her hair about four years ago, inspired by the super-short, bleach-blond pixie cut made famous by model Agyness Deyn, who sparked a trend with the short, platinum style given to her by the runway and editorial hairstylist that also tended to Princess Diana's snappy tresses, Sam McKnight.

"That cut started to get a little played out and I was wearing it on myself and I loved it but I thought, what would be the next evolution?" says Crocker of her decision to buzz it all off. "The only reference I had at that time was Amber Rose. I really loved it on her and I was bored, so the next evolution was shaving it all off."

Although Crocker has since grown out her hair, she says the buzzed style continues to be popular among clients of her Sterling Road salon DNS, in part because it lends itself so well to the ongoing '90s grunge revival. While it may be a gutsy move, Crocker points out that the minimalist style serves to highlight the natural beauty of a person's bone structure and features. "Shaving your head exposes all of that detail of your jawline, collarbone, the nape of neck, your hairline and cheekbones. This is bone structure that is usually doing a lot for people and it's really complementary to show off those details."

Crocker also considers super-short hair as a natural extension of the increasingly androgynous nature of fashion, which is paving the way for experimentation with hair. "It's fun to see girls playing with it. That's my favourite thing about extremely short hair – the confidence that it takes to do it, and it also makes you feel confident."

STYLE HAPPENINGS

  • A new crop of Canadian designers are taking over Concept, a rotating multi-designer retailer at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Beginning May 18, find pieces by brands like Hayley Elsaesser, Mary Young and Peace Collective, along with organic cotton candy by Lola’s Cloud. For more information visit www.yorkdale.com/concept.
  • Canadian charity Dress for Success is expanding its reach with Success is in the Bag. This new initiative takes gently used designer handbags to sell at a fundraiser, with money going to providing women across Canada with a network of support, professional attire and development tools. The deadline to donate is June 30. For more information, visit www.lovethatbag.ca.
  • Online menswear destination Mr Porter has teamed up with Gucci on a 43-piece collection under the creative direction of designer Alessandro Michele. Featuring playful motifs signature to the Gucci brand, the collection includes horse-bit loafers, a technical jersey zipped jacket and a lilac fill coupé shirt, all in Michele’s unique spirit of lightness and eccentricity. For more information, visit https://www.mrporter.com/en-us/mens/designers/gucci

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