Wraps and turbans are beautiful accessories not to be understated and definitely worth the investment besides your everyday favorites. They can make you look ethnic, edgy or just funky-chic depending on your mood. They also possess a certain charm of old Hollywood glamour while maintaining touches of modern-day elegance. Turbans and head wraps come in a variety of textures, patterns, designs and fabrics so you are guaranteed to find something that pleases you.
I have been wrapping my hair for the passed ten years. My greatest influence is probably the American soul singer and songwriter Erykah Badu; the “Queen of Neo-Soul”, who is the epitome of the urban Afro-chic culture. Badu set herself apart on the music scene not only through her electric sound, but also for courting the exaggerated head wraps which became her trademark.
A trip down memory lane..the beat of the drum on this track mixed with the base guitar is so refreshing, I love this song…
Wrap it. Love it. Wear it.
The head wrap is a God-send method for covering up un-tamed, unwashed, uncombed, ‘could-not-be-bothered-to-do-my’ hair while still maintaining style and decorum. What I love most about head wraps is their versatility and sophistication. Over the years I have owned numerous styles of head wraps; from the countless African print designs relentlessly stolen from my mother, to the numerous silk ones I have bought and misplaced. Personally, I favour the African head wraps simply because of the way they make me feel: zealous, empowered, commanding and self-assured. Moreover, they keep me connected to my African roots. I am always complimented and often given nicknames by passer-byes when I wear it; most common names are Nubian Queen, Mama Africa or My African Queen (got to love the streets for a morale boost).
Bag yourself an Alpha Male!
For my sistas who are looking to bag themselves an alpha male, I would definitely recommend the African head wrap. It exudes boldness and confidence which a certain type of man is drawn to; seriously, no wacky adolescent or dysfunctional so-and-so ( not that I am looking). I have observed over the years that when worn, people address me with more esteem and things get done much quicker (I think there should be a study carried out about the causes and consequences of wearing the African-print head wraps!)
Turban Runway Resurgence. Put your stamp on it.
In true fashion-comeback glory the turban has made a resurgence onto the scene with everyone from musicians to stylists embracing the trend with open arms. From Prada’s Spring 2007 ready to wear collection…
to the modern-day twist displayed in Daniella Issa Helaye’s 2011 Spring Collection.. Jason Wu’s Spring Collection 2011… I love this entire outfit.
and Giorgio Armani’s Spring Collection 2011, to name but a few…
Sharing is Caring.
Here are my x7 fundamental rules for turban/wrap-wearing success:
- Eyebrows must be immaculate! Whether you like them threaded, waxed or plucked, make sure they are nicely shaped as they define the structure of your face.
- Make-up must be immaculate too. Remember your face is the focus. Set your foundation and concealer very well. Eye make-up and blusher are also necessary (although I tend to settle for a black crayon/eye pencil at most times); alluring is the key word here – the subtleness will obviously vary according to the occasion and the outfit you choose to wear.
- LIPSTICK! Yes, I can hear you loud and clear, it is make-up too. However, it is very important so I felt that it should have its own section. Nude, Red, Orange, Coral, Pink, Aubergine, Brown; Lipgloss or Vaseline – Just apply it!
- Clothes: If the wrap/turban is a combination of bold colours and patterns, then your outfit should be minimalist (and vice versa). Preferably block colours – Avoid too many patterns at once unless you know exactly what you are doing! Yes, some people just have ‘it’ and can get away with runway murder. You do not want to look like a clown.
- ACCESSORIZE!!! (stands up in church congregation again and shouts AMEN!). This is the most important stage to tie in the entire look you are going for i.e. Nubian queen, bohemian-chic, 1940’s avant-garde fashionista, urban-street-chic, look-at-me-i’m-just-fierce -chic [insert relevant adjective here then add the word chic to it] etc. From the earrings, necklaces, bags to the nail polish colour..please do not let the team down! It is a desperate plea but I mean it damn it! (points to self: accessories freak over here!)
- Shoes: Need I say more? Just do it; and do it well I beg -ohh (Mama Africa speaks!)
- CONFIDENCE!!!!! Work the
runwaysidewalks, pavements, exude confidence in the workplace corridor on your way to the photocopying machine; whatever, wherever; just own it! Sell it to me! Make me believe in it! Make me envy you! ..Sorry I should calm down now!
Tying a wrap can be tricky at first but practice makes perfect. Have fun wearing yours.
Tame this look as did..
- Model Alejandra Alonso for Vogue Russia May 2011
- Singer/ song writer Solange Knowles
- Stylist June Ambrose
- Stylist Catherine Baba
I asked a few friends to send me their best wrap/ turban pics:
Mrs Amour K.Z. is sporting an amazing safari inspired print-patterned head wrap
which I am still plotting to steal from her wardrobe somehow without her noticing accessorised with three ebony wood bangles that she bought in the Massai Market in Kenya. Miss Nasha, whom I harassed for a tutorial is right up my street with the wraps; pure inspiration. (I apologise if her photos are a little bit fogy, they were taken on an iphone at night). She showed me a double whammy; the joy!! x2 complimentary silk scarves; in fact x3 of them since she wanted to create more height and volume. Just beautiful! And finally myself, sporting my trademark African-print wrap with a modern-day twist. I was surprisingly timid when asked to take the photo -not quite prepared but those moments are the best when captured.
More recent photos of my friends…
and of myself…