"We just wanted to give euphoria..."
The global press tour for Disney's forthcoming film "Strange World," which premieres on Nov. 23, is well underway, and it's already yielding some memorable fashion and beauty moments.
On Thursday, the movie's cast — including Gabrielle Union, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaboukie Young-White and Lucy Liu — convened in London for a premiere, which most of them took as an opportunity to have a little sartorial fun. Union chose a floor-hitting, black-and-white sequin gown from Elie Saab's Fall 2008 collection for the occasion.
While the dress, styled by Thomas Christos, would have had plenty of visual impact all on its own, Union really went for it on the beauty front as well: She wore her hair slicked back neatly around the face, and then piled atop her head in a mesmerizingly sculptural "braid flower," as the look has been dubbed by Issac Poleon (the hairstylist who created it).
"We just wanted to give euphoria; I guess hair crowns were the basis of this," Poleon tells Fashionista. "I worked with wire and braided the sculpture freely because I've wanted to create something with an element of simplicity. We kept Gabrielle's hair sleek at the front and went for an avant-garde take on the braided crown."
Union is no stranger to experimenting with high-impact style and beauty choices, and she's particularly intentional when it comes to her hair. She developed her own hair-care brand, Flawless by Gabrielle Union, after having experienced years of struggles on- and off-set relating to her hair, and views hair as a medium for artist and self-expression.
"I've always been interested in my hair and understood how hairstyles have shown my personality and represent me to the world," she told Fashionista in a 2020 interview. "I recall people always having an opinion on what my hair should and shouldn't look like, from family to work environments... I fully encourage self-expression and authentic ownership of personal style."