Back To The Future

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"No woman who works at W Magazine and lives on Perry Street would be caught dead at a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchie."

In one of the most memorable episodes of Sex and the City Imaginary Person Carrie Bradshaw denounced the scrunchie, declaring it a fashion anathema. Berger, the insufferable writer boyfriend, had dressed one of his fictional female characters in the offending accessory leading Carrie to lecture him on what was decidedly not in fashion. No one tell Carrie, but it seems scrunchies are back.

Last week BBC Women’s Hour weighed in on the surprisingly heated debate with fashion historian Amber Jane Butchart attributing the resurgence of the to the 1990s revival trend we’ve been seeing for some time. While Hilary Clinton publicly embraced the scrunchie in 2011, her tendency was not initially approved. Last year one of her staffers even confided to Elle “some of us are looking to ban the scrunchies.” But with the combined efforts of Hilary, the London 2012 gymnasts, Cressida Bonas, Cara, Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood - of course - the scrunchie has been brought to the brink of, dare we say it, acceptance.

Marc by Marc Jacobs is reprising key prints from the collection with an array of, dare we say it, classy scrunchies. Meanwhile Missoni have gentrified it all by using satin with a crochet knit overlay for €60 - a far cry from the burgundy velvet contraptions of the mid-1990s. If you’re looking for cheap and cheerful substitutes head to American Apparel for the bright hues and leopard print. Drop into Topshop for safer pastels or scrunchies with bunny ear twists.


However, despite the powers-that-be attempts to push the trend, naysayers are firm in their opposition. Kirstie McDermott of Frillseeker is “mildly baffled up to the point of being terrified that the young folk have no problem with them at all. I think it's a generational thing. I lived through The Scrunchie Wars the first time around; I'm still suffering PTSD (post traumatic scrunchie disorder). I'd be happy to leave them in the past, with Kelly Kapowski and the rest of the Saved by the Bell team.”

So where do you stand on the issue du jour – banishment to the time capsule? Or do we just accept that scrunchie-adorned topknots will have to learn to further defy gravity?

Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun

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