The braided chignon

If it’s an elegant, classic, stylish look you want for your hair then look no further. Aveda lead stylist Antoinette Beenders created a strong, modern braided chignon for the Sophie Théallet Spring/Summer 2011 Presentation.

“The Sophie Théallet hair look for this season is strong and chic—with a polished, sensual sensibility to reflect the soft linen fabric in this season’s collection. Inspired by strong, confident women, the sides of the hair are clean and smoothed back. A twisted braid adds height and drama,” says Antoinette.


1. Prep damp hair with Aveda Smooth Infusion™ Style-Prep Smoother™ for smoothness. Use a fine-tooth comb to create a clean center part and then blow dry straight using a Mason Pearson brush.

2. Brush hair back tightly and secure into a high ponytail below the crown—at the back of the head—using an elastic. Spray with Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray for shine and light hold.

3. Braid the ponytail. Gently massage braid with fingers for texture and spray with Aveda Control Force™ Firm Hold Hair Spray for maximum hold.

4. Attach a black taffeta headband around the base of the braid, at the crown of the head, and secure with hairpins.

5. Fold the braid in half and loop upward to create a vertical, braided chignon. Secure against the head with hairpins. Set the look with Aveda Control Force™ Firm Hold Hair Spray.


Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother™
Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray
Aveda Control Force™ Firm Hold Hair Spray

Q: What was your inspiration for this look? How did you collaborate with the designer to create the look?

“Sophie’s collection is inspired by women with strong personalities and her clothes this season have a Mexican influence, with beautiful, easy-to-wear dresses. We wanted to create a look that evoked this boldness, so we created a clean, chic hair style that only a confident woman would wear. The braids are finished with Sophie’s black taffeta headband, placed at the base of the chignon, for a style that resembles a modern Spanish comb.” - Antoinette Beenders for Aveda

Q: How could a woman achieve this look on her own?

“This chic, dramatic look is easy to replicate. Prep hair with Aveda Smooth Infusion™ Style-Prep Smoother™ and blow dry smooth. Create a clean center part and pull hair back into a high ponytail, securing atop of the head with a bungee elastic. Braid the ponytail, secure at the bottom with a bungee elastic, and spray with Aveda Air Control™ Hair Spray. Use hairpins to secure a black, fabric headband around the base of the braid. Pull braid upwards into a vertical chignon and set with hairpins. Finish the look with Aveda Control Force™ Firm Hold Hair Spray.” —Antoinette Beenders for Aveda

Q: What is the inspiration for your collection? What is the look you are capturing?

“The starting point for this season’s collection was my love of Luis Barragan’s architecture—it serves as a backdrop to a movie that I imagine in my mind, featuring unique women who have very strong personalities. I was also very inspired by the Golden Age of Mexico, the photography of Tina Modotti, my friend Rosi de Palma, and the gorgeous music of Chavela Vargas. For this collection, I am looking to capture a very chic and polished nonchalance.” —Sophie Théallet

Q: You’ve worked hard to reduce the environmental impact of your presentation each season with Aveda’s Green Backstage program by replacing bottled water with NYC tap water, eliminating the use of fur, serving organic/locally sourced food, and printing invitations on recycled paper. What does your accomplishment mean to you? How do you feel about the end results?

“Our association with Aveda has always been a professional joy. At Sophie Théallet, we produce all of our garments in New York City. We are delighted to be able to work with a company like Aveda that is trying to be as conscious as possible of our environmental impact.” —Sophie Théallet

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