The Hunger Games film franchise have done a lot to PR the once prissy plait. Designers from Temperley to Fendi to Dolce & Gabbana showcased tribute-worthy braids on AW14 catwalks, and whether you’re rooting for District 12 or have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, there’s no denying that a twisted, slightly mussed up plait is a modern party season ‘do’. The beauty of the braid is that it can be worn to do battle in the Cornucopia, hike through the alps à la Heidi or indeed to look the part at your best friend’s wedding. How you wear it is up to you, but you might want to get an extra pair of hands on board for some of the more complex twisting and weaving. If Peeta’s busy, I highly recommend that you give Mathieu Clabaux a call; his plait repertoire would impress even the most picky Games Maker.
Plaits, pleats, braids...whatever you call them, Katniss’ crowning glory has never been hotter. We show you how to have some fun with the humble plait.
The staple side braid is somehow fierce yet feminine at the same time, curving round the nape of the neck so as not to get in the way of Katniss’ bow. I’m assuming that archery doesn’t figure in your daily routine, but this twist on a French plait is as practical as it is pretty; whether you’re heading to crossfit or going for cocktails. To achieve it Mathieu plaited from my right ear, diagonally across to my left shoulder, adding a hairpiece before we started to boost thickness. The plait was kept fairly loose for a more flattering finish, with rogue hairs escaping from the bottom of the plait to keep it modern, rather than schoolgirl-ish.
The Twisted Katniss
This one made me feel like a forest nymph- it’s soft, romantic and definitely special occasion worthy. Mathieu French braided loosely from the right of the crown diagonally towards the nape of the neck, tucking over towards the right in a “flower” shape and pinning with grips to keep it in place (hairspray is particularly handy at this point).
The Double Braid
For some reason this style screamed Save The Last Dance at me, and I loved that. If Katniss were to compete on the street/in a hip hop dance off, this ‘I mean business’ braid combo would fit the bill. Mathieu misted over hairspray prior to plaiting to add a bit of grip before parting hair on the side and tightly French plaiting down both side of the head, pulling the fringe into the plait but leaving a few wispy strands around the hairline so as to avoid looking too severe. He joined the plaits into one at the left hand side, taking the ends over my left shoulder. We added a blonde hairpiece for extra interest, just because. You don’t always have to be matchy matchy- this one was as golden as a milkmaid’s but added to the slightly edgy feel. I wouldn’t do it everyday, but for a festival or party this is officially a good look; sometimes more is more; if in doubt, add another braid in a completely different shade to your own hair colour. Boom.
The Pop Out French
Essentially a reverse French plait, sometimes known as a ‘dutch’ braid, this is a plait with pop- the braid itself is more prominent. If you know how to French plait you should be able to master this with relative ease- when dividing hair into three loop the left and right strands under the middle section, instead of over it as you normally would. Then just keep going, plaiting right to the ends for a casual daytime style or twisting ends to the left or right and tucking away under the body of the braid for a more elaborate look. Katniss would rock this, as would most of the cast of Lord of The Rings and bridesmaids everywhere. Bravo Mathieu!