By and  on September 20, 2007

Haute couture has always belonged to the realm of fantasy, and the fall-winter 2007 season was no exception. Backstage at the shows, hairstylists worked their magic, whipping up ultrafeminine, fantastical creations—with disparate themes and materials—generally only the stuff of dreams. At Jean Paul Gaultier, for instance, hairstylist Odile Gilbert created crowns out of real hair—true extensions of models' coifs that ended in ponytails. More morphing took place at Christian Lacroix, where she orchestrated undulating, faux jewel-, ribbon- and fur-bedecked dos. Gilbert says she took a cue from former Empress Sisi of Austria, and from Africa. "You don't know if it is fur or hair," she says, bemusedly. Hairstylist Luigi Murenu chose a change of tack at Givenchy, where he gave models crimped bangs, slick sides and chignons (with the latter, a nod to couture). "We always do soft, long hair at Givenchy," he says. "This time, it has a little more of a punk attitude." He adds that the style "creates a new silhouette." At Valentino, models sported big, slick, luxurious buns on the tops of their heads. Buns abounded at Christian Dior, too, where there were also cascades of curls and some free-flowing waves. Hair was twisted and turned at Armani Privé and Chanel. Altogether, models' tresses were as complex and finely hewn as the clothes they wore down the couture runways. Pure works of vivid imagination—not to be tried at home.

UP, UP AND AWAY: Mounds of braids, curls and extensions helped hair reach new heights on many couture runways.

ACCENT: Hats, feathers and combinations of the two helped accentuate elaborate and classic designs.

SLICK LOOKS: At Elie Saab, smooth buns worn at the nape of the neck defined elegance.

TEXTURE: Crowns entwined with hair created a spectacular extension of coifs ending in ponytails at Jean Paul Gaultier.

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