NYFW: Mara Hoffman Wrapped French Braids and Starburst Nails Tutorial

Photographer Alex Wesh
September 10, 2013

FADER NYFW, Spring 2014

Womenswear designer Mara Hoffman has made her name on bold graphic prints and sexy frocks, but this NYFW, we were just as obsessed with the ethereal hair and nail designs we saw on her runway. With the help of TIGI's Nick Irwin and industry-veteran nail artist Honey, here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to recreate Hoffman's Wrapped French Braid and Starburst Nails on your own at home.


The spring 2014 hair program for Hoffman's show was directed by Nick Irwin, the Global Creative Director at Catwalk by TIGI. Irwin drew inspiration from the kaleidoscopic colors and tribal TKs of Hoffman's collection. He created a striking dual french braid look, gathered by swaths of the very same woven belts that were sent down the runway. Here is a step by step rundown of how to to recreate this unique and surprisingly easy hairstyle.

What You'll Need: Hair mousse, paddle brush, holding hair spray, hair sheen spray, clear elastics, woven belt or swatch of colorful fabric or scarf, hair pins, hair extensions (optional)

1. Prep hair with ample mousse, working it from roots to ends and brushing through with a paddle brush. Create a center part from hairline to the nape of the neck.

2. Starting with the left side, gather hair and begin french braiding directly behind the ear, working small, loose wefts of additional hair extensions into the braid for exaggerated length. Secure with a clear elastic.

3. Repeat on the right side of the head and set braids with hairspray.

4. Using colorful woven belt or scarf, bind the two braids together in a small section at the nape of the neck and pin in place, tucking away the ends.

5. Spray the crown and hairline with sheen spray for added shine and finish.


For the dainty fingertips of the models strutting in her show, Hoffman entrusted the creative direction to nail technician Honey, an editorial and celebrity specialist. Culling her inspiration from Hoffman's trademark prints and using the Maybelline Color Show line, Honey created a nude base with pops of orange neon starbursts. Recreate Honey's runway look below.

What You'll Need: Maybelline #150 Born With It, Maybelline #220 Orange Fix, Maybelline #440 Clear Top, Fine-tip nail art brush

1. Start with a single base coat. Let Dry. Apply a single coat of nude Born With It. Let dry

2. Dip nail art brush in Orange Fix, removing excess polish on the rim of the bottle. Create a center line from cuticle to tip.

3. Repeat on each nail and let dry.

4. From the base of the center line create diagonal lines at a 20 degree angle to the left and right of the center line, continuing to the edge of the nail bed.

5. Allow time for lines to set and dry.

6. Apply a single layer of top coat and let dry.

NYFW: Mara Hoffman Wrapped French Braids and Starburst Nails Tutorial