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Fringe benefits: what is Kate Middleton trying to say with her new hairdo?

Huge news. Kate Middleton has a new fringe. IKR! Well, actually it isn’t much of a new fringe, more that she has rearranged the hair at the front of her face so that it sits to the side and creates an upside-down V on her forehead. To the untrained eye, it could be easily be dismissed as an grown-out fringe, the accidental hairdo of a woman with two small children and a free-time deficit. Except it isn’t. The duchess opted for the style on the day she returned to her official duties, and given that one assumes her personal hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker can be summoned to the royal dressing table with some sort of giant bell, and what with groomed hair being Kate’s thing, we have to assume that this look is intentional.

More than intentional, this do is ultra high-maintenance. Basically (and as luck would have it), you can’t have a job with this longer-line side fringe. Every time you bend your head, you end up with hair in your eyes, getting greasier by the minute. You need a can of dry shampoo to hand at all times to have a fighting chance. On the surface, Anna Wintour’s spirit-level fringe may look as though it’s harder work than an “outgrowing” fringe, but in reality, anyone with a tail comb and a pair of scissors can keep on top of a Wintour-esque sharp line.

The Middleton fringe isn’t very Fashion. It doesn’t belong in the debased Bardot fringe camp (only Kate Moss and model Freja Beha Erichsen can compete here). Nor is it anything like the wavy shag fringe that model of the moment Mica Arganaraz is ruling New York fashion week with. Style-wise, the outgrown fringe is a bit 70s, and along with the fact that Kate is wearing a polo neck, there is enough evidence to suggest that the princess is up to date with her Tatler catwalk supplement. The effect isn’t particularly on-trend, though. The overall look is somewhere between Strictly host and Carol Middleton. Which no doubt is the mark of tonsorial success for the duchess, since that is the crowd she is playing to. Right?

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