When it’s come to guiding you through a year’s hair trends, much of what we describe relates to styles and cuts. Colours always fall into third place and hair accessories seldom rate a mention. It’s different for 2012’s hair trends however. For spring / summer 2012 the old guard finally made way for the new with the turban hair accessory (finally) stepping aside for something else: the head scarf. And it’s not only going to stay in fashion for fall 2012, it’s going to be stronger than ever.

To find out who has designed the hair wrap for 2012 and get styling tips, read on after the break. You can also ensure that you don’t miss out on any of our fashion trend guides and updates by subscribing to Fashionising.com’s newsletter or RSS feed.

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2012 might just be the perfect year for a headscarf revival, and that has a lot to do with the fact that it’s a year whose fashion is defined by revivals. Look over all the trends we’ve been wearing in spring 2012 and those which are being carried into autumn / fall 2012 and you’ll find amongst them revivals of 1930s, 1950s/1960s and 1970s fashion. While not all of the fashion revived from each decade are compatible, the headscarf certainly is. And so 2012 provides something of a perfect oppotunity for the headscarf to become fashionable yet again.

But in what form? And is it limited to just the revival of several discinct decades?

The 1940s headscarf

To answer that last question: no, the revival of the headscarf is in no way limited to the revival of fashion from the 30s, 50s/60s and 70s. These three decades instead allow for the revival of styles of headscarves based on the romance of periods of 20th century fashion that have gone on to be romanticised and become iconic. Hence New Zealand designer Karen Walker’s spring / summer 2012 collection played not to one of those decades but instead to the 1940s – and a particular part of it at that. While most designers are wont to play to high society when they draw inspiration from past eras of fashion, Karen Walker’s take on the fashionable headscarf for 2012 sits more inline with 1940s Rosie The Riveter iconography.

This particular take has become increasingly popular on the street throughout spring (you’ll see ample interpretations around the cool parts of London) and promises to stay strong for fall/winter.

karen walker headscarf

rosie the riveter

The wartime image of the tie-up headscarf is one that implies the woman who is feminine but tough. It was a style born out of the hard work of necessity, but one that came to signify a new role for working women of the era. In the modern day it continues to signify a defiant coolness, but it’s also easy to create and perfect for when you don’t have time to do much to your hair.

Marc Jacobs played so a similar style in his S/S ’12 collection, though also offered up a style more inline with the sports fashion trend and a sweat-band, and wholly unlikely to be recommended by us as a part of the headscarf fashion trend now or into fall.

marc jacobs headscarf

The 1950s/1960s headscarf

More associated with the 1950s and 60s is the headscarf folded into a triangular shape and tied under the chin. It’s the typical accompaniment to oversized sunglasses and vintage convertible cars, and a regular vision of incognito glamour for screen stars like Audrey Hepburn. In fact, it’s hard not to look like a vintage starlet when you don this type of headscarf. While a little overlooked on the runways, the bond between this accessory and the ’60s means it’s perfectly wearable in 2012 by association.

As well as her ’40s tie-up-top scarves for spring, Karen Walker also brought headscarves to the runway for fall 2012. This time it was the perfect inspiration for getting that vintage starlet of the 50s and 60s look. This is a style that works all year round: pair it with a sundress when the weather is warm, or with an elegant overcoat come winter; it’ll also help keep the wind chill at bay.

karen walker fall 2012

You could also go the path of Vivienne Westwood Red Label fall 2012, but the danger here is that you end up looking prematurely elderly. Pairing the scarf with a more fitted, vibrant piece of outerwear or a vintage inspired look of skinny pants and a cropped knit layered over a crisp shirt would make for a more on-trend autumn 2012 look.

Vivienne Westwood headscarf

The 1970s headscarf

The 1970s might currently be in a state of fashion revival, but it was a decade that itself borrowed motifs from an earlier period of fashion: the 1930s. So with the 70s revival well underway and the 30s revival simmering until A/W ’12, it’s the version of the 1970s headscarf that we look to in 2012.

Here we turn to siblings Nicholas and Christopher Kunz and their Nicholas K label’s S/S ’12 offering. A collection both urban and modern, Nicholas K S/S ’12 took a long and flowing approach to the headscarf.

nicholas k headscarf

Don’t feel you can’t carry colours and prints over to the colder months, either; Hermes offers up a good example, in their fall 2012 campaign, or turning a luxury silk scarf into a ’70s statement for fall.

hermes fall 2012 scarf

Ethnic head tie

The prominence of the headscarf for S/S ’12 wasn’t limited to decade-influenced trends, and nor does it have to be as a seasons change. Ever true to fashion, the headscarf is interpreted through the lens of ethnic fashion in 2012. Here, the likes of Kevork Kiledjian have turned to West and Southern Africa, taking inspiration from the traditional head tie.

kevork kiledjian head tie

The turban isn’t quite dead

We started this guide stating that the headscarf replaces the turban as the fashionable headpiece for 2012. And that’s certainly true, but it’s not to say that the turban has disappeared from the scene altogether – it’s just no longer the main piece of choice. If it’s still your thing for spring, look to Anna Sui’s S/S ’12 collection where tones were made to match.

anna sui turban

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