I’ve always been mindful of the comb over’s magnetic power—at least ever since David Cross and his lonesome, grease-soaked strands of hair stole my heart in Scary Movie 2. There was just something about the ignorance of it all that made me want to cuddle up to him on his wheelchair and tell him that everything’s going to be OK.
Still, I can’t imagine anyone has ever strived for the comb over. I doubt many people hand a magazine cutout of Donald Trump to their hairstylists and are like, “THIS.” No—comb overs were always rather pitiable, in an irrevocable, George Costanza kind of way. But that was all before fashion hijacked the look. Now even Gisele has a comb over. It’s in Balenciaga’s Fall 2014 campaign and, as you might imagine, looks better on her than it did on David Cross.
How to wear thy comb over? Let us count the ways. We have the longhaired side-swept comb over, most often seen on Sky Ferreira, and what I like to call the one-eyed comb over, which Rihanna wore in her Balmain campaign. There’s the low-pony comb over—which can be worn tight or loose fitting. The bang-over, which Rodarte used in their S/S 2013 show; the pixie cut comb over à la Michelle Williams; the old Hollywood comb over; the Tilda Swinton/David Bowie comb over—and yes, they are their own category. And finally we have the Don Draper comb over, which Gisele is wearing in the new Balenciaga ads, and which she manages to pull off in her casual non-human way. Werk.