The Bandana Is Back and More Politically Engaged than Ever


Once made big by icons like Carolyn Bessette and now back on many a catwalk: the bandana, preferably knotted in the zeitgeist of the late nineties. That says a lot about 2020 because the accessory has been booked as a symbol of resistance for years. Vogue delves into the item that belongs to different subgroups, and in the meantime never really appears from the fashion image.

From Jacquemus to Dior
Jacquemus was there early in January: he sent models with classic, mostly pastel-colored, bandanas to the catwalk. Much less modest were the headscarves of Maria Grazia Chiuri, who tied printed versions around the hair of her Dior muses. Not a random choice, because her show mainly served as a feminist statement. A bandana is then a logical cultural reference, because in many protests for equality – especially at the end of the last century – the accessory was the item to add some strength.

In that sense, the fact that Vivienne Westwood, one of the most politically engaged designers, reintroduced the bandana in Paris is just as telling. While singer No Bra sang socially charged lyrics (about the revolutionary year 2020, for example) models with brightly colored bandanas walked the catwalk. The connection between resistance and the famous headscarf is unmistakable, and is in line with a trend that can be seen with many designers anyway: shows increasingly serve as a statement, whether it is about raising animal suffering or the climate crisis. The bandana has always reappeared at many fashion houses over the years (think of Viard’s debut show for Chanel), but in 2020 the headscarf can serve a higher good again.

Pop culture
While the bandana has belonged to various subgroups since its arrival (from A $ AP Rocky’s iconic yellow hip-hop one to the ‘ hanky code ‘, with which gay men showed their sexual orientation in the 1970s), the headscarf in the fashion image made a name for itself in the nineties. Style icons like Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy showed that the bandana can also be worn minimalist (with blazer and jeans), while stars like Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears were just on the other side of the spectrum.

They made the bandana bohemian, and above all: a cult accessory for the pop world. Combine with a cropped tank top was required, and the headscarf itself could be studded with a good hand of diamonds. At least one thing the enthusiasts had in common: knotting was done in the nineties and early 00’s by folding the bandana in a triangle and loosely tie it around the head.

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