The return of the scrunchie…
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Everyone is wearing scrunchies – great blooms of gingham, ruffles and vibrant red tulle on their heads. Good Squish, a Hackney-based brand, has been hand-making its supersized versions from deadstock fabrics since 2021. “I wanted to create something you could throw on and instantly feel elegant,” says founder Billie Cronin, whose fans include Chloë Sevigny.
Scrunchies have pretty garish roots. First popularised in the ’80s, the bands became synonymous with Lycra, jazzercise and lurid sweatbands. Good Squish ups the ante with chic designs that can go from workplace to wine bar. “Hair accessories, especially big ones, are a way to show playfulness,” says Cronin – but also a quick way to add structure. Customers report feeling that they “instantly have their life together”, which Cronin finds “hilarious”. In September 2021, its first month, the brand sold tens of units; today, spread across five continents, it’s around 1,900.
The oversized wave is catching on, with similar scrunchies from Miu Miu, Saint Laurent and Philadelphia-based Room Shop, where “cloud” ties are made alongside giant satin ribbons. For Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at MatchesFashion, the uptick is indicative of our obsession with ’90s street style, as well as a new approach to traditional dress codes. “They can be worn as a supplement for a hat for a more formal occasion,” she says, pointing to Gucci’s crystal-embellished logo clip and Prada’s majestic raffia-effect headbands.
Prada crochet headband, £440
Simone Rocha crystal flower hairband, £250
While Wiggins acknowledges that hair accessories have historically appealed to younger generations, she’s seen plenty of engagement from the over-30s too – the trick is how you style them. I wear my Good Squish in a low bun; if I’m feeling bolder I’ll go large with a high pony. I might pin Jacquemus’ gigantic brass flower in a loose chignon, pulling its wire petals just out of sight. Wiggins is a fan of a sleek, low ponytail, the perfect vehicle for jumbo clips and ribbons at Chanel.
Irish designer Simone Rocha has always appreciated bold hair accessories, having designed them since her MA at Central Saint Martins. “[They’ve] always been an extension of the collection,” she says. Her favourite styles include a crown-like daisy hair band and crystal flower slides – to be paired with a messy braid and matching beaded earrings.