Yesterday at the Givenchy couture show in Paris, models embodied a refined brand of irreverence. The feel was evidenced through the ensembles—fringed tweed and taffeta commingling with lace, feathers blooming from ballgowns, a duo of Havisham-esque brides dripping in plumage and pearls—with designer Clare Waight Keller espousing inspiration from “an anarchic woman who comes through the chateau.” (For reference, think Stella Tennant.) The collection was titled Noblesse Radicale (which translates to radical nobility), and Keller furthered the notion by evoking an image of a “bird woman trapped in the house.” In an effort to punctuate the parade of eccentric, soon-to-take-flight ensembles, hairstylist Guido Palau dreamed up a quartet of above-neck hair sculptures, sprayed into place to aerodynamic effect.
“I remember growing up in the early ’80s, girls doing a raw version of this—spraying their bangs and hair into these sculptural shapes,” says Palau. “I wanted it to be sophisticated rather than raw, and the fan-like [silhouette gives it] a birds-of-paradise type feel. It’s grand bourgeois with a punk attitude.” Palau achieved the gravity-defying looks by first blow-drying hair into graceful forms, then lacquering lengths in place with a liberal application of Redken’s Triple Take 32 Extreme High-Hold Hairspray. The moment may be difficult to recreate in full, but the accompanying spirit—exotic, insurgent, and sumptuous—is one primed for Paris Couture’s over-the-top revelry.