Braiding is an art much like drawing: most of us have some facility at it, but when you see someone who's really amazing at it, there's just no comparison. The 10 braids here are the Picassos of the runway hair world, and just like a visit to the museum, they're a great way to get inspired.
Fancy braids have been de rigueur for seasons now, but the double inside out French braids at Gretchen Jones were astounding.
All Wound Up
These twisted, fabric-laced braids from Mara Hoffman  require serious extensions and form a headpiece of their own. (Learn how it was created .)
Annie, Get Your Garland
At the Georges Hobeika show, gorgeous silver and champagne hair garland was woven into the hair, further proving that wreaths and garlands are having a moment.
Perfectly contorted plaits at Behnaz Sarafpour  took incredible precision to create.
Don't Be A-Braid . . .
Unlike many of the other looks here, these messy, pinned together plaits from the Nanette Lepore  show actually aren't hard to do. If you're not an amazing braider, they're an excellent way to camouflage mistakes.
Here's a teeny-tiny fishtail braid actually woven into a ponytail from the Marchesa  Spring 2012 show. (See how it was done .)
Crown braids are complicated already, but at the Antonio Marras  show, models' plaits also changed size and trajectory as they garlanded heads.
Circling Ever Closer
To go under the intricate balaclavas at the Spring 2012 Alexander McQueen  show, stylists braided hair into a ringlike formation.
Three Times a Braid-y
The tripartite braids at Fatima Lopes wound into fantastical, wired-up shapes at the ends.
My (Ren) Fair Lady
The neo-gothic plaits from the Spring 2011 Alexander McQueen  show drew a flurry of commentary from every corner of the fashion world.