How to Master the Bridal Bow

By Over The Moon
Photo: Sidney Bensimon

Is the bow having a comeback? On the red carpet, the classic accessory is having an undeniable resurgence (think Margot Robbie at the Critic’s Choice Awards this year), but the iconic look has been a mainstay for understated glamour for generations of screen sirens and designer muses. Whether you’re combing through classic movies for inspiration or catching up on Paris couture news, bows continue to offer versatile (not to mention timelessly chic!) ways to personalize wedding day hair.

When referencing film star-approved styles, why not take a cue from the greats? Audrey Hepburn’s veil-meets-bow combo in Funny Face, worn high atop her sleek updo like a white tiara, feels just as relevant today as it did over half a century ago.

Bringing a modern spin on the accessory to the retail table, Jennifer Behr’s Secret Garden Bow Barrette, with its delicately flowering vines, offers a subtle nod to the “something blue” element needed for the big day.

For the more adventurous bride, two is better than one. Try pulling back loose waves and pinning with matching bows a la Brigitte Bardot’s romantic hair ties in A Very Private Affair.

If straight-from-the-runway is more your style, look to the recent catwalks for the latest wedding-appropriate adaptations. In London, Simone Rocha’s Fall 18 collection was peppered with dark bows on gauzy white gowns, but the designer took it one step forward by tying models’ gently tousled braids with soft velvet ribbons. And fresh off of last week’s couture runway in Paris, Giambattista Valli’s black bows, tied like Bardot-inspired hairbands, were worn as a sleek alternative to the loose, netted veils that topped effervescent creations (and equally perfect for the can’t-be-bothered bride). To really embrace the creative opportunity at hand, Mood Fabrics (a New York fashion district staple) will deliver yards of its dusty blue double-face velvet ribbon at the click of a button. And that’s part of the real appeal when working this into such a highly customized ensemble—for the final flourish, a trip to a trim store is all it really takes to execute one totally personalized look that just won’t quit.

—Arden Fanning Andrews