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The bridal beauty looks you'll be rocking this spring

When couturiers Steven Khalil and Galanni sent their spring/summer collections down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia yesterday, it wasn't just the dresses that caught our eye.
Don't get us wrong, the gowns were pretty amazing - from Steven's intricate lace work and embellished fabrics to Galanni's lady-like glamour, they proved once again why they are two of Australia's top couture labels, with women across the country clamouring to wear their creations. But once we'd finished purchasing our #dreamdress (in our heads), our attention turned to the hair. At Mr Khalil's show, braids took centre stage - and while they've been popular in bridal 'dos for a while now, they went next level with this braid/chignon hybrid. For Galanni, it was all about soft, tumbling curls. We got the shows' hair directors to let us in on how you can recreate these looks for your own big day.

Steven Khalil's braid chignon

Hair director Sharon Blain for Goldwell took a nod from Steven's chic couture styling by creating an intricate style which had a classic simplicity to it. "The idea for this hair look evolved from looking at the gowns, the fabrics, their textures and also the embellishments," she says. "We wanted a design to complement the collection but not to overpower."

What we love most about this look is that it will work with pretty much any style of dress. "Steven's gowns range from simple column forms to full skirts and finished with a stunning bridal gown. It was important to have the hair work across the entire range of different necklines and forms. This was a perfect complement and works successfully with the whole collection," Sharon explains. 

And just as this style grabbed everyone's attention on the catwalk, it's sure to have exactly the same effect as you walk down the aisle. "The look as the model walks down the catwalk is clean and refined, yet up close there is beautiful detail which takes the hair look to another level," says Sharon. "The special highlight is the braid down the centre back working into a neat braid chignon at the nape. It's a modern take on the elegant chignon, much like Steven's collection is an elegant take on couture style for the modern woman."

Get the look

1. Spray the hair with Goldwell StyleSign Hot Form styling lotion and directionally blow dry the hair with a paddle brush from a centre ponytail towards the nape to create a smooth finish.
2. Make a parting in line with the top of the ear from ear to ear, dividing the hair into two sections. Run StyleSign Diamond Gloss through the hair for a high shine finish.
3. Work a three-strand scalp braid in a 5cm panel from the centre of the forehead down to the back at the nape. Secure with a small band to hold. This can be lightly roughed for texture, but the braid should be tight.
4. Direct the sides softly back on both sides and secure at the nape. A light backcombing on the sides with finer hair will help give body.
5. Divide the pony in two sections and work a three-strand braid to the end, band to hold.
6. Make a loop out to the sides and secure the ends at centre to hold.
7. Repeat on other side, pin well and spray with StyleSign Magic Finish to hold.

Galanni's tumbling curls

For Galanni, the label by mother-daughter design duo Lenna and Catherine Vasilas, hair director Ida Tirimacco took the lady-like glamour of their collection and workshopped a sophisticated and elegant hair look for the show. "With the structured components of the gown, we decided to go for a softer, sexier and fresher hair look," she says. "We wanted to maintain the femininity and glamour of the range, but have some movement in the hair."

As Ida's chic styling shows, it's important that your chosen hair style works with the overall vibe of your bridal look. "After speaking with Lenna and Catherine, it was obvious that their collections are about designing for a woman's body, their curves and the way their gowns fall. We wanted that touch of Hollywood glamour, without the structure of an up-do."

Get the look

1. Apply Goldwell StyleSign Double Boost root spray to the roots of the hair and section a parting up straight from the corner of the eye from right to left, back to crown.
2. Taking inch-squared sections, spray each one with StyleSign Hot Form styling lotion and spray a little StyleSign Unlimitor on to the ends only to help thicken.
3. Use a conical iron on each section and pin to hold. Continue this process all the way around the head, alternating the direction of each row. When working the top section, take each part on a diagonal forward and pin half on and half off base as the roots will need to be looser here.
4. Spray StyleSign Big Finish all over to set the curls and let cool.
5. Once hair has completely cooled, start unpinning and allow hair to fall and relax. Run a couple of drops of StyleSign Melting Diamonds through the ends before brushing section by section with a Mason Pearson brush.
6. Spray StyleSign Satin Guard as you brush to keep the hair from separating too much and reducing any natural frizz in the hair.
7. Part the hair as low as possible to give an edgier look, without too much height on top of the head. This will allow the soft curls and movement to really make a statement.
8. Finish with a spray of StyleSign Magic Finish to add a glossy finish and set the style.

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