New Romantics: 2004 Fashion & Hairstyle Trends

By Megan Woods

What begins on the catwalk migrates via the red carpet to the sidewalk, and 2004 is no exception. What then, is 2004 serving up for fashion and hairstyle trends? The first piece of advice for those of you who want to keep your clothes and tresses up-to-date is to get in touch with your feminine, romantic nature. 2004 is awash in a sweet, pretty, and flirtatious aesthetic. Designers continue to be inspired by the middle decades of the twentieth century, combining the glamour of the thirties and forties with the fun and frivolity of the fifties.

Fashion Trends

At recent showings by the top fashion houses, swathes of chiffon, lace and satin have enveloped the catwalks not only in evening wear but also in delicate tops to match with tailored pants and day skirts. Chanel's ready-to-wear collection features playful chiffon sundresses, and even the ultimate rock-chick Stella McCartney's latest collection has been described as a "dreamy and ethereal" affair. It was McCartney who responsible for transforming the formerly leather clad and androgynous Annie Lennox into a Hollywood princess at the 2004 Oscars. The Scottish songster positively wafted in1930s-inspired ice blue, silk satin gown.

At the 2004 award ceremonies, many celebrities wore ultra-feminine dresses. Commentators labeled Sarah Jessica Parker's Golden Globe ensemble as "sweet", and Charlize Theron as looking "romantic". On the other side of the Atlantic, Scarlett Johansson and Laura Linney's BAFTA outfits have been described as the "girliest gowns" seen outside of a bridal party.

Hairstyle Trends

Accompanying these soft and pretty clothes, hair has also taken a soft and pretty turn. It seems the reign of the hair straighteners may finally be coming to an end. Ever since Jennifer Aniston first flipped her famously straight locks across our TV screens, women everywhere have spent hours removing any wave, bounce or body from their hair.

In 2004, wave and curl are making a comeback; Vogue is even heralding the return of the perm for bouncy and bountiful tresses. For those readers having frightening flashbacks to the eighties, be assured, big hair has yet to stage its renaissance.

One of this season's hottest trends is set to be the un-do - an up-do that's purposely loose and seemingly about to tumble down. To achieve this look of stylish dishevelment simply pin up random sections of hair with bobby pins and then let the rest hang loose for a sexy tussled look.

Despite not receiving a nomination for this year's Oscars, many fashion watchers acclaimed Nicole Kidman as the fashion belle of the ball. She teamed her Chanel gown with a soft "up down" hairstyle. She wore her curled hair loosely pulled back and piled on top of her head with the back section left to cascade down her back which was left bare by a backless gown.

On the catwalks, frizz has been the word du jour. From Karl Lagerfeld's Coco Chanel look-alikes to Valentino's wild Seventies inspired creations, frizzed hair was in abundance. The jury is still out, however, on whether this style will make it big on the heads of ordinary women.

Let's face it; the romantic look is not for us all. While the 1930s and 1950s are influencing the romantic look, for a more edgy style, look to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. At their 2004 Spring Showing, Gucci had models with heavy pageboy hairstyles straight from the streets of 1960s swinging London. Chunky bobs are also big this season, especially when they are choppy, texturized and ultra-messy. Reinvent this style with multi-dimensional color. Try bleaching and darkening sections of your hair a la Kelly Osbourne.

The other look making a strong showing in 2004 is the ultra-cropped Twiggy look. This is a style that has been catching on ever since Alyssa Milano of Charmed graced our screens sporting this style.

From the "I thought I would never see it" files come this season's other hot edgy look - the mullet. After years of being an object of ridicule, the mullet is making somewhat of a comeback. Try updating this "classic" by going for an asymmetrical mullet.

To experiment with the latest hairstyles, visit With this world-first 3D hairstyle visualization software, you can try all the latest hairstyles with no risk. Stellure is the only place in the world where you can try out the latest hairstyles on your own face in three dimensions!

Read more of Megan Woods' hairstyle advice, tips, and trend analysis at

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