A new crop of contemporary fine jewellers have moved crownwards from the fingers and clavicles to adorn ponytails and French twists with their precious hair wears. ‘I am continuing my exploration of the sculptural nature of jewellery in relation to the body, even if that takes the vision beyond the traditional limits imposed by the industry,’ says Parisian Charlotte Dauphin de la Rochefoucauld of her ‘Disruptive’ Dauphin collection hair cuffs that clasp the hair in their 18 carat white gold and diamond grasp. A less adorned, sterling silver version was also seen on Paul Smith’s A/W 2016 London runway, securing his models’ artfully messy ponies.

Brazilian jeweller Ana Khouri’s molten 18 carat yellow gold bar clip offers another solid example of luxe minimalism: ‘I wanted to make a statement hair piece that shown not by its intricacy, but by its smooth simplicity,’ she says of its design weight. The same decorative restraint was similarly employed by Los Angeles jeweller Sophie Buhai for her moulded sterling silver and wood entwined hairpiece.

Inspired by the curved forms of Constantin Brâncuși and Barbara Hepworth fused with primal African jewellery, the designer crafted the latter during a residency at Tuscan artists colony Villa Lena, where creative supplies were limited to what she could bring in her bag. ‘The Brâncuși Barrette was initially made with scrap pieces of metal and a vintage wooden bead,’ she attests, ‘it's a real statement, a sculptural adornment for the hair.’ Combining modern lines and timeless elegance, these are hair-comtrolling heirlooms.

As originally featured in the May 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*206)