If you ever wondered what is it that makes a truly timeless style morph into a seasonal trend, you may discover part of the answer in between the lines shaping up this very article. Focusing on the perennial hairstyles that are the classic braids, we can’t help but feel they’ve been around for what seems like forever, yet this season they mark what is perhaps the most comprehensive hair trend for fall 2014.

Building momentum for next year’s spring and summer as well, the braided hairstyles of now may as well be molding the foundation gained in the past, but it’s in the intricate approach and contemporary techniques where their modern manifestation lies.

Bold, unconventional and creative above anything else, the braid hairstyles we are about to introduce you after the break are made to resonate with the woman of today. Read on for the complete report.

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Braided hairstyles for fall 2014.

Spanning from soft looking to rocker chic, from totally polished to perfectly undone, and from romantic and sculpted to breezy and bohemian, the braids for fall 2014 manage to build an entire spectrum of styles. What ties them all together is the outside the box quality, an expression that fully materializes in state-of-the-art techniques and fresh plays on texture:

Faux fringe with side french braids.

The side french braids are nothing new, but when they fall loosely across the forehead shaping up the pretties of faux fringes they morph into something else entirely.

At Nanette Lepore, the soft looking hair was accented with a single braid that fell lightly over the forehead and continued its course down to the ear. Complemented with false lashes and a bitten lip, this is the style that you can expect to look just as beautiful with a gorgeously draped dress, a menswear-inspired suit or a cool biker jacket.

Decidedly more effortless and with a bang effect, the same side french braid took the guise of a cool hat hairstyles at Creatures of the Wind. In building this look, opt for full texture and a slightly disheveled finish.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Nanette Lepore and Creatures of the Wind, F/W ’14

Braided chignons.

From pure sculptural to messy-chic, the braided chignons for fall/winter 2014 do a brilliant job in playing up timeless simplicity.

At Laura Biagiotti, glossy locks were gently gathered into a romantic braided knot at the nape of the neck, and complemented with a middle part and bare make-up for a highly sophisticated look.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Laura Biagiotti, F/W ’14

At Dolce & Gabbana instead, the same simplistic essence was used to shape up a braided bun that came to sight as incredibly effortless due to the subtle volume at the crown and the few wisps of hair let loose around the face. Choose classic cat eyes and natural lips to polish off the look.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Dolce & Gabbana, F/W ’14

Slick pigtail braids.

If you happen to think the pigtail braids never looked cooler, you’re probably right. Slick and thin, adorned with headbands or a string that runs across the back of the head, these braids gained a rebellious edge on the runway.

Part fantasy, part sinister, the tight pigtail braids at Marc by Marc Jacobs had a youthful, playful quality about them that was promptly contrasted with late night eye makeup. Featuring  a jagged middle part and topped with a black headband, the look incoportated a little bit of both “the sweet and the sour”.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Marc by Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, F/W ’14

At Givenchy, two of the same slick pigtails were knotted together near the nape of the neck for more of a futuristic effect. Dramatic eyes and a string attached at the temples with red tape is what made the double pigtail plait appear all the more innovative and edgy.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Givenchy, F/W ’14

Glamorized cornrows.

Cornrows made high fashion, or following along intricate patterns, represent another unexpected spin on the classic braided hairstyles for fall.

We’ve seen a thick cornrow half-up style contradicting the glamorous gowns at Marchesa, and another one just as cool, cornrowed around the curve of the head, with two very long strands hanging down from the ears on either side, complementing the Elizabethan feel at Alexander McQueen.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Marchesa and Alexander McQueen, F/W ’14

A cornrow hidden in the middle part made for a unique interpretation of a Mohawk braid at Tibi, in what was intended to be a subtle, clean and natural “country girl meets urbanite” look. Wear this hairstyle with both sleek and slouchy tailoring, bare eyes and berry lips.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Tibi, F/W ’14

Side braids.

On the fall 2014 runways, even the average side braids were elevated with modern finishes and unexpected detailing.

With a deep side-part, natural texture and an undone quality, the fishtail braid falling loosely on the side at Leonardo had an ethereal feel about it, coming together quite the effortless way.

A bohemian double plait, simplistic with a little detail of interest, was seen accompanying the gorgeous string of gowns at Temperley London. Both youthful and playful, the braided look was made whole with loose tendrils, curled to frame the face.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Leonard and Temperley London, F/W ’14

Fishtail braids.

The fishtail braids continue to excite and entice for fall/winter 2014 with their half intricate, half simplistic quality, all the more when they are made into gorgeous, new styles that can easily be emulated.

The half up half down fishtail braid at Etro is the perfect example of nonchalant sophistication. What’s even more great about it is the fact that it looks just as beautiful on all hair types and it can be recreated on both short-to-medium, and longer lengths. Pair it with garments borrowing folk inspiration for the full effect.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Etro, F/W ’14

Two pigtail fishtail braids built upon texture were topped off with a third one running across the forehead at Manish Arora, in a young, carefree look rounded off with whimsical, colourful eye make-up. Add this style to your hair repertoire for fall and wear it with everything in between ’90s inspired, tartan and plaid, or sporty-luxe outfits.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Manish Arora, F/W ’14

Undone braids.

Nothing speaks of effortlessness louder than a hairstyle able to look so perfectly put together, while seeming to be falling apart.

We witnessed such a gorgeous look sported by the models at Emilio Pucci, where a tousled, wavy texture was pulled back into an extremely loose braid that included only a couple of plaits. With plenty of strands falling out, the style gained an instant bohemian-chic meets rock & roll feel.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Emilio Pucci, F/W ’14

Crown braid.

Although less prominent this season, the milkmaid braids didn’t fail to leave an imprint amongst the braided styles trending for fall 2014.

With a kind of discipline to it, inspired by the 1950s boarding schools, the crown braid at Bora Aksu was rendered modern with added texture and a rope plait to replace the regular one. Styled with barely-there makeup and minimal jewelery, the hairstyle retained some of its ingrained innocence.

Braided hairstyles fall 2014
Braids at Bora Aksu, F/W ’14

Braided hairstyles for spring 2015.

Moving into spring/summer 2015 territory, we witness an equally wide spectrum of braided hairstyles waiting to be translated to everyday looks, just as they continue to build upon the plaited styles born on the fall/winter 2014 runways.

Aside from cohesion and continuity, what the spring braids bring along is a fresh, uncomplicated feel fitted for the breezy aesthetic describing the hotter months.

Cornrows meet braided chignons.

As the cornrows transition into spring and summer, they leave some of the unpolished feel behind, getting stronger and edgier as they are made to disappear into chic braided chignons.

Creating a modern iconoclastic look, the rule-breaking style at Bibhu Mohapatra, mixes leather strings, tribal braids and lady-like chignons into one memorable hairstyle. Top it off with dark lips and kohl-rimmed eyes.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at Bibhu Mohapatra, S/S’15

At Giorgio Armani, the ultra-feminine look was all about a natural braid with an imprecise composition. As a result, thick cornrows were woven into romantic, poetic knots, perfected with just a hint of make-up and strong eyebrows. Although intricate-looking, they allow for countless interpretations.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at Giorgio Armani, S/S ’15

Wet braids.

Growing into a full statement on the spring 2015 runways, the fishtail braids gained exaggerated proportions, a wet-finish making them all the more ready for the torrid days.

Imagined to create a “contrast in textures” and to complement Suno’s beach-ready collection for spring, the accompanying dramatic fishtail was rendered wet in the front, and made extra-dry in the back.

At Laura Biagiotti, the all-over wet texture allowed for an incredibly chic French-braid rendition, a look that the woman on-the-go can trust to accompany her from the beach, to brunch and all the way to cocktail hour.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at Suno and Laura Biagiotti, S/S ’15

Classic braids.

In a sea of styles that made it their absolute purpose to rework the classics, the most simple and regular of braids felt like a breath of fresh air.

Reminiscent of a traditional Indian inspired braid, the classic fishtail at Tome balanced polish and effortlessness, having the detail in the pleating and the wet texture adding to the more modern feel.

The classic all-American girl gained a regal makeover at Peter Som, where a super-shiny and slick plait represented the only statement of luxury she needed to make.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at Tome and Peter Som, S/S ’15

Undone crown braids.

Even the crown braids get undone for spring and summer, as if to echo some of the minimalistic essence of the make-up, and the desire to keep things as uncomplicated as possible when the temperatures begin to rise.

Feeling soft and romantic, the deconstructed braid at Aganovich matched the candlelit ambiance of the show, complementing a collection inspired by European religious and mythical icons. While the loose strands of hair gift the look with an ethereal quality, choose a red lip if you want to make it more dramatic.

At Vivienne Westwood, the classic milkmaid braids mimicked the playfulness of the makeup, an unfinished and kind of clumsy wrap up transitioning the look into modern days.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at Aganovich and Vivienne Westwood, S/S ’15

Peek-a-boo braids.

Although they’re not meant to strike you as daunting, there’s a kind of delicate beauty veiling the peek-a-boo braids seen trending for spring 2015.

Envisioned to be worn by a sexy, free-spirited woman, the neat, slim braid going down the part of the hair at Giamba, found a perfect match in a graphic cat-eye laid against a bare skin.

Decidedly grungier in feel, the braids at Vera Wang took the guise of little dreadlock-like plaits, crafted in the under-layers of the models locks. Forming a fishtail at the top and a regular, three-strand braid at the bottom, pair this cool style to dramatic smoky eyes, nude lips and luxurious textures for added contrast.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at Giamba and Vera Wang, S/S ’15

Rocker chic braided pompadour.

Proof that when working with imagination even the simplest of braids can morph into the coolest looking hairstyles, the rocker chic braided pompadour at Marissa Webb is unapologetic edginess at its best.

Made out of triple braids, promoting a kind of perfectly-undone messiness with strands of hair let loose to frame the face, style this look with nude lips and punky, shimmering eyes.

Braided hairstyled spring summer 2015
Braids at Marissa Webb, S/S ’15

Skinny braids.

The skinny braids can take on many guises and in doing so complement a full range of aesthetics. It’s all about daring to play with texture in finding the best match for you.

For spring and summer you can go sporty with a zigzag parting, gelled baby hairs and glossy pigtail braids as seen at DKNY. Complement the African-American-inspired street girl look from the ’80s and ’90s with bare make-up and feathered eyebrows.

Or, you can take the other route and incorporate two skinny braids into one bohemian look oozing of effortless appeal. Go with a messy part, natural texture and a whisper of make-up to keep the look as breezy as a summer’s day.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at DKNY and Jeremy Scott, S/S ’15

Soft, braided buns.

From complex chignons, to soft, braided buns, the spring/summer 2015 hair trends didn’t fell short in offering plenty of inspiration for what is supposed to become the next perfect updo.

A chic center part and a Venetian lace-inspired braid took the form of a horizontal chignon at Tadashi Shoji. Who knew something as simple as a low braid, plaited near the nape of your neck, and secured with bobby pins could look so incredibly sophisticated?

The same polished quality describes the low, braided ballerina bun at Erin Fetherston. Fit for a refined, elegant and polished look, style this braided bun with a fresh-face, delicate dresses or sleek, oversized silhouettes.

Braided hairstyles spring summer 2015
Braids at Tadashi Shoji and Erin Fetherston, S/S ’15

The trend in 2013

Since braids are such a constant in the world of beauty, the question isn’t so much whether they’re in but in which ways to wear them now. The runways for fall 2013 provided plenty of inspiration on styling your hair in ways that use plaits and braids.

Here are some of the key braided styles spotted on the runways, that can easily make the transition to your own beauty routines.

Side braid.

The side braid is basically what it says: a braid that falls to one side of the hair. The brilliant thing about the side braid is that it takes only minutes to create, but has plenty of impact. In recent years it became associated with tomboyish, sporty cool; but for fall 2013 it was reignited in a smooth, elegant light.

Spotted at Valentino, this look was reminiscent of a dutch good girl who’s born into a rich family. What makes this side braid standout is the glossy finish that it was given to get that modern look. To add a seasonally on-trend touch to your side braid, make it slick and add a ribbon around the head for a fresh burst of femininity.

elegant side braid

Side braid tutorials.

how to: valentino's easy chic side braid

How to: Valentino's easy chic side braid

The side braid gets a chic and elegant makeover for fall 2013, with Valentino's smooth, ribbon-headbanded take. Styled on the runway with modest floor length dresses and florals, it'll also serve you with any number of feminine outfits. Create your own side plait with headband by following our tutorial at that link.

Crown braid.

The crown braid, just as it’s name suggests is a type of braid that goes around the head (like a crown). It’s a hairstyle that you would like see while watching “Game of Thrones”. When done cleanly or in a sleek way, it exudes an almost royal vibe but do it a little messy and you get this vintage and playful look like this one from Viktor and Rolf 2013.

This type of braid might require more work but as you can see, it’s very much worth all the trouble.

Viktor & Rolf crown braids

Crown braid tutorials.

how to: alice + olivia's messy crown braids

How to: Alice + Olivia's messy crown braids

For another fall 2013 take on the crown braid, try this version from Alice + Olivia. Crossing all the way over the top of the head for a Heidi-esque look, this style was messy and effortless and yet charming. Find out how to create the messy Heidi braid at that link.

Fishtail braids.

Modern and with a bohemian edge, this version of the braid has been gaining a lot of popularity these past seasons. The main difference with this braid is that it uses four strands instead of just three, giving it that fishtail look. Here are two fishtail variations we spotted on the runway:

Tory Burch’s spring collection was a perfect example of the fishtail braid in all it’s boho glory. To really get long braids, extensions were added to the models’ hair. The result is a chic yet youthful hairstyle that’s note-worthy.

Tory Burch fishtail

Very intricate yet still very clean, Christian Siriano incorporated the fishtail braid with a chignon. Who would’ve thought that fishtails will look just as good when worn up?

Christian Siriano braids

Braided buns.

Buns are always a go-to for women who want to keep their hair in place. Sad to say, buns can be a bit boring but not when they’re fused with braids.

Rodarte created a half up hairstyle featuring a bun and two braids; a romantic and simply stunning look for their fall 2013 show. This very feminine look is great to wear day or night.

braided half up hair with bun

If you’re on the punk rock side of the spectrum, you should try wearing this look from Badgely Mischka. The upside down braid that goes all the way from the nape to the crown of the head is like a surprise from behind. You can follow a similar braided topknot tutorial at that link.

badgley mischka braid

For a whisical take, Miu Miu’s double braided buns are one to try. Who would have thought such a girlish style could look so chic?

double braided buns

Braided bun tutorials.

how to: miu miu's double braided buns

How to: Miu Miu's double braided buns

High shine and not a hair out of place, Miu Miu's double braided buns were both pristine and yet ultimately girlish. Try them for yourself by following the double braided buns tutorial at that link.

Possibilities for braids are near endless, but the key thing is to find a way to incorporate one that fits with the style of what you’re wearing: for that, the choice is yours.

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