The Baby Fringe: A cut above the rest

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The baby fringe has been making waves of late sported by everyone from the actress of the moment, Rooney Mara, to rising music star Grimes. Lucia Davies explains why we should all be reaching for the scissors

It's being dubbed the "Rooney Mara fringe" and it swept across models' foreheads throughout the autumn/winter fashion show season. Razor cut, blunt and positioned high above the brows, it is the ultimate statement "do" that is soon to spawn thousands of imitators.

The conception of hair stylist Danilo Dixon for Mara's character Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the severe "baby fringe" was created with the logic that Salander would need to keep her hair out of her eyes during all-night hacking sessions. However, since filming finished Mara has kept the character's trademark look and in turn undergone a total style transformation. From her plainly pretty days in The Social Network, she has become style icon of the moment and is now being likened to a modern day Audrey Hepburn. Heralded on the red carpet for her edgy glamour, Mara has also since scored cover stories with W, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Dazed & Confused, Allure and GQ.

The baby fringe (which ends just before the middle of the forehead and is not to be confused with the longer Bettie Page curled fringe) has by now been seen on the Calvin Klein, Marni and Versace catwalks (Mara sat frontrow at the former). The high fringe and long straightened hair look that Guido Palau created at Versace, looked especially bewitching,particularly when teamed with the collection's dark and gothic pieces (another major trend for the new season).

"The inspiration is strong, sexy, powerful and determined – a woman who knows what she wants. I cut the fringes short and blunt, to make the girls look strong and to portray a confidence, different to the other girls in the street. They ooze cool," explains Palau of the hairstyles he created for Versace (he was also responsible for the hair at Marni). And while he insists Mara was not a reference, he approves of her new and unique look, "It's the first time in quite a while that we've seen an actress on the red carpet with such an extreme cut and looking quite beautiful." He explained to Vogue Daily, "Next to Rooney, it can feel a bit like everyone else is just playing it safe."

Another baby fringe style icon that has recently appeared from nowhere is Montreal electro-pop musician Grimes, aka Claire Boucher. Admired for her unique sound and spine-tingling vocals, Grimes has also attracted attention with her eclectic, grunge style and distinct high, blunt fringe which varies in colour from natural (on the front cover of this month's issue of Dazed & Confused shot by Hedi Slimane) to pink (in the new video for "Oblivion", from her latest album Visions). Appearing both tough and fragile at the same time, there is something very compelling and fresh about 23-year-old Grimes, who described herself as "post-internet" in an interview last year.

Hair stylist for Grimes' Dazed & Confused cover shoot, Tomo Jidai, describes the allure of her hairstyle: "When I first saw her I immediately loved that balance between her strong fringe and eyebrow with her innocent face and eyes. This season it's also all about graphic hair with a sharp centre-parting and the baby fringe achieves this look in both an interesting and modern way."

Acknowledging the increasing presence of the short fringe, Jidai explains its rise in popularity: "I think people are maybe getting bored of being conservative all the time and this look is a bit more challenging and exciting. It's also got a unisex look about it, a contemporary version of androgyny – something which is a key trend coming through from Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."

There is no denying that the baby fringe is having its moment – elsewhere Mariacarla Boscono sports rounded baby bangs in Yves Saint Laurent's spring/summer 2012 campaign and Zoe Kravitz has been rocking a super-short fringe at recent events and awards. However, the all-important question is: for us mere mortals, whose lives are not spent in front of a camera or global audience and whose jobs are not dependant on whether we aesthetically stand out among other A-listers, should anyone really attempt to pull a super-short fringe off?

"The baby fringe can be both grunge or high fashion depending on how you style it," explains Jidai. "However, if you have a round face a very short fringe is best avoided as it will only make your face look more rounded. This look works best on egg-shaped faces and it is also very important to get that right balance between fringe and hair length. A nice eyebrow is also key. Don't be scared and wear it with confidence."

"You'll have to be ready to get more attention," Palau, for his part, says. "When you carry such a specific look, a stronger look, all eyes are on you."

Admittedly, a short fringe is a commitment and the growing-out stages are destined to include that awful Nick Carter in the 1990s curtain look. There are also important factors to consider: face shape, eyebrow, hair length – which all have to be right. The results may be worth it though. Says Palau, of Mara: "I really like Rooney's new style, she looks much more interesting now. A hair cut/hairstyle can totally change your persona, and I love that."

For those of us not brave enough to commit to the baby fringe, meanwhile, there is always the alternative of a winge – that's a wig-fringe, a temporary clip-in fringe available from Hersheson's blow-dry bars at Topshop, priced £30. Also worn by Katie Holmes, Penelope Cruz and countless models on the catwalk, the winge is as easy to take off as any key garment of the season. And, in case the fashion for a "Rooney Mara fringe" doesn't last longer than the forthcoming autumn, there's no need to lose a good 12 inches of hair for the sake of a trend.

Lucia Davis is junior editor of Another Magazine

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

    £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own