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Slogan Barrettes: The New Form of Expression

Wearing your heart on your hair clips.

Witch. Icon. Diva. Woman. 

Whichever word appeals to your personal truth, we can almost guarantee there's a hair slide that says it. Why? Because one word barrettes just became the latest way to wear your heart on your sleeve. 

Pioneered by Simone Rocha and Ashley Williams last year, within just a few seasons hair accessories have reached peak fandom. Whether it's a pearl monogram pin stealing the show at Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel swan song, Rotate's branded perspex slides adorning the FROW at Copenhagen Fashion Week, or Gucci's tortoiseshell barrette making its way onto must-have lists everywhere, hair clips have become 2019's furry Fendi keyring.

In no time at all, actually affordable slogan hair slides began to emerge. And thank goodness, too, because they're a convenient (and accessible) way to show your brand allegiance, and more importantly, your mood. For a generation that's immersed in constant communication and obsessed with authenticity, being able to define yourself amongst the masses is more important than ever. And if it looks good on the grid, well, that's a bonus. 

‘Hair clips – and pins, ribbons, bows, barrettes! – benefit from the selfie culture that helped statement earrings to blow up,' explains the digital editor behind hair accessory obsessive Insta account @at_a_clipTilly Macalister-Smith. 'Any ornamentation that fits in an iPhone selfie shot is going to have a helping hand in having a "moment". Baseball caps will be next!'

Ben Affleck-esque sportswear aside, it's hard to deny the 'hair accessory effect' on a brand's sartorial standing. Take Ashley Williams' era-defining one word hair clips that gave the phrase 'statement hair' a whole new meaning. A previously untapped medium for communicating our current emotional footing, slogan barrettes allow the Instagram generation to inform their audience of minute by minute changes to their mood, as once upon a time an ever evolving Facebook status would. 

But now you can do it whilst decked out in diamanté.

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Where your profile would previously list your 'interests' and 'likes', the new social CV can be tweaked depending on your choice of hair slide. A trio of 'Books', 'Earth' and 'Techno' might say 'I'm a worldly nomad that's definitely got a ticket to Glasto' one day, whilst a combination of 'Paranoia', 'Error' and 'Delete' shouts 'Leave me the hell alone but make it fashun', the next. 

Get your mix of hair slides bang on and in just three or four words you can express your political views, find your fellow music tribe members or simply alert your co-workers that you're not up for a Monday morning chit chat.

JUSTINE MARJAN X KITSCH

On the flip side, a single word expertly chosen can speak volumes. Finally asking for that overdue pay rise? There's a rhinestone hair slide for that. Enter A-list hairstylist Justine Marjan's new collection with Kitsch whose hero piece is a four letter kirby grip spelling 'boss'. For when you need your message to be clear, let the hair slides do the talking.

'We want to wear our hearts on our sleeve, express our feelings through our style and make a statement,' says Marjan. 'I love that all the pieces can be worn together so you can spell out different sentences to create a unique statement that you want to share with the world. I honestly find it so inspiring to see how they can be tailored to suit each person and their own personal style.'

JUSTINE MARJAN X KITSCH

Flashback to September 2018 and backstage at London Fashion Week, designer Ashley Williams was doing just that. In place of assigning models previously dictated looks, hairstylist Alex Brownsell encouraged them to choose the buzzword barrette they felt the strongest attachment to. 

The result? An army of models adorned with glittering feminist war cries designed to deliberately subvert society's expectations of women. Whimsical Troll-style top knots were brandished with 'Social Cosmic Woman', whilst supermodel Georgia-May Jagger chose to show the audience her inner 'Goth' and 'Witch'.

What appeared as a seemingly random selection of hair accessories on the runway, in real life became a new way to communicate our own complexity.

WWD/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

'There’s something cute and naïve about wearing a ribbon in your hair, or a Margot Tenenbaum style hair clip,' says Macalister. 'It makes you feel girly and young. Which is a bit of an intentional juxtaposition, given that we often are neither of those things!'

When a well known designer that shall not be named described Selena Gomez as ugly, her response was to wear a sparkling barrette that reclaimed ownership of the insult. 

The take away? Gomez's hair slide might have said 'ugly' but the message was most definitely: 'f*** you'.

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