Say Hello To The Balenciaga Scrunchie

We always knew this day would come. First, it was mom jeans. Then came the velvet chokers, babydoll dresses, ribbed bodysuits, and the endless loops of Clueless-inspired style slideshows. Each time a new '90s trend made an appearance on a runway, we knew we were just counting down the days until the one accessory we said we'd never wear again reentered the spotlight.
Yes, we're talking about the scrunchie. And yes, Demna Gvesalia is (of course) the designer who brought it back into our lives, just like the oracle foretold it.
Photo: Courtesy of Balenciaga.
It's hard to pinpoint when exactly the scrunchie died, but it happened sometime between the end of the '90s and that one 2003 Sex and the City episode. You know, the one where Carrie Bradshaw's boyfriend Jack Berger, writes a story about a hip female character "running all over Manhattan" wearing a scrunchie; Bradshaw calls the style choice "a crucial mistake," and then Berger gets mad about it because he's a big baby. Yeah, that was the last nail on the scrunchie coffin.
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But why did we stop wearing them? After all, they were a hair accessory that also served double-duty as a bracelet (and, as we recall, all the cool girls always had one wrapped around their wrists "just in case"). It's not like the early-2000's were a time of austerity and minimalism in fashion, and yet, the scrunchie just couldn't make it to the new millennium with the rest of us.
Now, almost 15 years later, here we are, looking at the first look of Balenciaga's resort 2018 collection — a model in an oversized suit and a bright pink scrunchie, staring directly at us, daring us to mock her accessory of choice. But we're surprisingly attracted to their clunkiness, their awkwardness; how the scrunchies seem to be competing with oversized, colorful earrings as the statement-maker of choice. We think of all the times we proudly wore them as bracelets, the way we threw them through the air when one of our friends needed to pull their hair up. And beneath all these feelings we can't help but wonder: Oh God, do we love scrunchies now?
We do.