Betsey Johnson
Chris Benz, with hair done by John Ruidant
James Coviello

From tousled waves to wind-blown curls, several top designers at New York’s Fashion Week chose voluminous coiffures to complement their couture collections on the catwalk.

Established fashionistas like Donna Karan, Nicole Miller and Vera Wang featured models with whimsical waves, while Project Runway up-and-coming designers Jillian Lewis and Chris Match opted for disheveled curls to showcase their styles for the fall season. Betsey Johnson, in true quirky spirit, chose an over-the-top crimped mane for her models.

Here, we step backstage with Fashion Week stylists, in search of runway styles that curlies can easily modify to suit their textured manes.

David Cruz styled the Twinkle show

The designer:

The look: Retro, Faux Bob

When David Cruz, lead stylist for the Twinkle show, thought about creating the hairstyle for this collection, he envisioned the World War II era. “There are a lot of tweeds coming up in the fall and the structure of this collection felt military,” Cruz says, “although Twinkle has very soft and pretty sweaters on top, with a lot of layering.”

His creative vision evolved into a quirky, faux bob. Cruz starts to design the look with a 3/8-inch barrel curling iron to create tight coils throughout the entire mane. “Then, I twist part of it up in a French twist, but you’re not going to see it from the back,” says Cruz, also a Redken stylist. “I’m also teasing the top and side into a rounded shape so it looks airy and quirky, but still contained and organized. When you come to the front it looks almost like a 20s finger wave that’s been brushed out a little bit.”

Call it your own: This style is even easier to achieve for those with naturally curly hair, Cruz says. Start by creating a side part, then mist the front of your tresses with your favorite styling spray or gel and mold a grouping of curls into an s-shape. Add a few pins to lock in the shape, then let the section dry and remove the pins. As for the rest of your textured tresses, allow them to dry naturally or speed up the process with a diffuser. Next, creating the faux bob. Loosely pull those free-flowing curls back and secure them with a ponytail at the end. Then, roll it under and into itself until you reach the base of your neck.“Pin that in to secure it and you have what looks like a 20s bob, but more modern,” Cruz explains. “Even if a few pieces come out it will look pretty and a little disheveled, but not crazy.”

Chris Benz show was styled by John Ruidant

The Designer: Chris Benz

The Look: Sophisticated, Mature Parisian

In the conception of this full, fluffy style, the designer asked his lead stylist John Ruidant to reference the eccentric style of the Royal Tenenbaums. “I created a center part and then slicked it down with a pin on both sides of the part, slick and shiny,” says Ruidant, also a Redken stylist. “In contrast, the rest of the hair is a curly, fluffy texture, created with a 3/4-inch barrel curling iron. With some sections, I’ll create a figure eight by wrapping part of the hair around the barrel of the curling iron and then the remainder of the section you wrap it in the opposite direction. This creates a quirky bend to the curl. Then we back-comb the curls to create a fluffy texture.”

Call it your own: For curlies, this fun style is easy to achieve with a few pins. You can skip the curling iron by working with your own natural texture. “You would create a center part, pin it on both sides and volumize the bottom as much as you want,” Ruidant says. “Just don’t brush out your natural curl as much, so it’s not overwhelming."

Rodney Cutler styled James Coviello's show

The Designer: James Coviello

The Look: Crimped, Offset Bun

The roaring 20s partly served as an influence in James Coviello’s collection, but with a modern twist. Lead stylist Rodney Cutler wanted to infuse the old with the new on the tresses of the models donning Coviello’s designs. “The hair is simple, but with interesting and modern elements, like crimping for texture,” says Cutler, lead stylist for the collection and owner of New York’s Cutler Salon.

Coviello’s fashions also featured stylish hats on the runway, so the hairdo was created with chic headpieces in mind.

“We pull the hair back in an offset bun, but with a really strong part,” Cutler says. “We start by creating the texture from the crimping iron in the front, then brush it out a bit. Then, the hair is pulled back into a ponytail behind the ear. We crimp the ponytail, and start to fold the hair into itself, then pin it into a ball of hair. So, when the hat sits on it, the bun pops out behind the ear. It’s fun and beautiful.”

Call it your own: Again, you can use your natural curls (no crimping iron!) to your advantage with this chic style. Cutler says to simply create a strong side part and slick your curls back into a ponytail behind one ear. Then, randomly pin the curls from the ponytail into an offset bun. Accessorize with a chic hat-- or skip it and show off other accessories. “Use your curls as the main feature,” Cutler says.