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Monday April 1, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday April 25, 2013 MYT 11:38:58 PM
by gladys chung
Actress and dancer Julianne Hough sporting The Chop.
The hairstyle of the moment is an unfussy style that flatters most face shapes.
FORGET the pixie cut, the bob or luscious red carpet-worthy curls that end halfway down your back.
As its name suggests, The Chop is a blunt cut with a rugged, edgy feel. It usually ends between the chin and collarbones, and has been touted as the hairstyle of the year.
It was made popular after Vogue US invited hairstylist Garren Defazio to cut model Karlie Kloss’ hair for a feature in its January issue. Inspired by the fashion-forward looks of models Arizona Muse and Karen Elson, Vogue declared it the “Haircut of the Moment”.
Defazio defines this shapeless cut as “short, choppy, easy and chic, but with a rock ‘n’ roll edge”.
“It’s not a Sassoon thing; it’s not a bob and it needs to hit somewhere right around the chin,” he told the magazine.
The most enticing part about this hairstyle is that it is supposedly fuss-free.
It works with the natural waves in your hair – the more wayward, the better – and is easy to maintain. Just wash your hair, tuck it behind the ears and let it dry, says Defazio. It also makes you look instantly younger and fresher.
Issac Ng, salon director of Toni & Guy Hairdressing in Mandarin Gallery in Singapore, says this hairstyle is perfect for those who are sick of their long hair but do not want to go too short.
“It is versatile and, when done right, makes most women look good because the hair frames the face and highlights features such as the cheekbones,” he says.
Eugene Ong, who owns the Urbanhair salons in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Tangs Orchard, says the most flattering length for The Chop is right at the collarbones.
“That magic length allows the hair to sweep naturally to the front when you move, and that helps to add shadows that contour your face. The bluntness of the cut adds character to your look too,” he says.
Celebrities who have had their long hair “chopped” – and now look fresher and more youthful – include Giuliana Rancic, a host on cable TV channel E! Entertainment, and Julianne Hough, a star on Dancing With The Stars.
Socialite and philanthropist Lily Kwong treaded a fine line between country bumpkin and style meister with her one-length style last November and has since replaced it with an asymmetrical bob.
Not all who have tried The Chop get it right: It looked too severe on Margherita Missoni, the heiress of Italian fashion house Missoni; while it looked like roadkill on Canadian model Jessica Stam.
Find out how The Chop should look like and how to get it right.
Karlie Kloss, 20
The American edition of Vogue invited hairstylist Garren Defazio to cut the model’s hair for a four-page feature on the choppy cut in its January issue. Defazio lopped off more than 15cm of her hair and made the edges of the chin-length style uneven and blunt. He finished the look with thick, short bangs. Vogue christened the cut “The Chop” and billed it as the “Haircut of the Moment”, inspired by trendsetting models Karen Elson and Arizona Muse. Kloss looks younger and fresher with this rugged crop that complements the natural waves in her hair.
Arizona Muse, 24
The American model was one of the first to sport The Chop when she first hit the fashion limelight in 2010. Her signature blunt and messy bob, which ended around her chiselled jawline, drew as much attention as her bold eyebrows.
Muse looks elegant and chic when her locks are curled into loose waves that frame her face; and pretty in a tomboy-ish way when she tucks her curls behind her ears.
Lily Kwong, 24
The socialite-philanthropist is often spotted at the front rows of fashion shows. She snipped off her shoulder-length hair last year and debuted a style that ended at her chin last September. Her simple, unkempt hairstyle would make most Asian women with less prominent features look like country bumpkins. But with her unique facial structure and fabulous clothes, Kwong just manages to carry it off.
Margherita Missoni, 30
The Chop is a no-go on Missoni, the heiress to the Missoni fashion house founded by her grandparents and the face of the Italian brand. The centre-part and jagged edges make her look matronly and hide her high cheekbones. She looked better when she had longer hair.
Jessica Stam, 26
The Canadian model currently sports a pixie crop which suits her heart-shaped face much better than The Chop she sported last month. Her chin-length crop and side-swept fringe had made her look like a boring school girl when neat and smooth; and tired when straggly.
Karen Elson, 34
The British model-singer first showed off her blunt, chopped locks on the front row of Alexander Wang’s spring/summer 2013 show in New York last September. We don’t really love it, but the porcelain-skinned beauty is one of the rare few who looks good in any hairstyle.
Julianne Hough, 24
The American actress, singer and professional ballroom dancer proves that The Chop is versatile. She has worn it tousled and tucked behind one ear; with a centre parting and slightly wavy ends; tied into a tiny ponytail; and poker-straight with layered ends. The best part? She looks youthful in all the styles.
Giuliana Rancic, 38
On the morning of the Oscars last month, Rancic, a host on TV channel E! Entertainment, decided to get rid of her extensions and go natural with loose curls that grazed her shoulders. We think the style makes her look less haggard and sexier than the blonde extensions she used to hide behind. Her new do was one of the most talked about hairstyles at this year’s Oscars. It was given a shout-out on The Huffington Post and StyleWatch, the style section of celebrity gossip magazine People’s website. – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network
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