It's not unusual to see a dozen or so different hair colours backstage at a runway show-particularly at a Marc Jacobs runway show. But what went down at Marc Jacobs's spring/summer 2019 show-and the three days preceding-was a hair colour undertaking the likes of which the runways have never seen. Over 35 models agreed to have their hair dyed to walk in the designer's '60s-inspired show, which meant hairstylist Guido Palau and hair colourist Josh Wood, who both work with Redken, were quite busy when we caught up with them in the hours before the lights dimmed and the first model hit the catwalk.
"This is the biggest colour project I have ever worked on-I've never done anything with so many girls who were willing to colour their hair. So it's a proud moment for me," Wood told us minutes after taking off his colouring gloves having finished the last model's hair, a dark violet hue. He noted that more models than he anticipated agreed to have their hair bleached and coloured in one of the many antique pastel hues, dubbing it a "colour revolution." "It's a filmstar kind of colour. It's not so overt. It's not crass of vulgar, it's refined. It's slightly anti-unicorn hair, I love unicorn hair. But these kind of colour allow every woman to access having fun with colour, not just if you're in a youth market."
Some models had their hair buzzed totally off, then dyed a colour like faded peach. Make-up artist Diane Kendal then used Marc Jacobs Beauty eyeshadows to match their new hair colour. "The clothes are so beautiful, there's a fragility to it. It's like colour that is there and isn't there," Woods says. "I love working on colour that has a slight innuendo-is it pink? It is oyster?"
Models haven't always been so keen to chop and dye their hair. So we had to ask-what changed? "Instagram," says Woods. "The fact that there are so many images everywhere-people having colour, people changing colour. Colour isn't for life anymore. With technology the way that it is today, using something like Flash Lift with a bonder inside, bleaching isn't like it was two or three years ago. It's not the same anymore. The technologies support change."
Each model, regardless of their base colour, underwent about five or six processes over the course of three days. The designer would match fabric swatches with each model and personally approve each colour before Woods and his team got to work dyeing the hair right in the designer's showroom. "We bleached everybody first using Flash Lift with toner inside so we're really protecting and looking after the hair as we were lifting it. Then we layered. There was a metallic base coat in purple or titanium or platinum. That was because Marc didn't want a fairground pastel or a fun pastel. He wanted it to have history and to it look vintage were actually trying to make the colour look like they had a history to them," notes the famed colourist. "They weren't throw away colour, they are grown-up pastels."
While Woods was busy colouring, Palau and his team transformed a few models with buzz cuts or an exaggerated "egg" layered bob inspired by Barbara Streisand. The rest of the models without cuts had their hair whipped and pinned into otherworldly graphic chignons. "These kind of exaggerated chignons and it's all kind of based on an egg, that kind of shape. I suppose really it's a nod to the '60s, a nod to iconic women Marc really likes like Barbra Streisand, Lee Radziwill. Those '60s women who were very done, very salon," says Palau. "The colour is a big thing as well, with a lot of the girls we've been very lucky they have agreed to colour their hair in these pastel antique colour. It was a very important part of the visual and the hair it nods to yesteryear those sort of faded colour. Typical Marc Jacobs it's being colour coordinated with nets. It's a very exaggerated fashion look."
To achieve such sky-high volume, Palau and his team used Redken Guts while blow-drying to get volume at the roots, then teased the hair. He also added in extensions and hair pieces to help pad the hair even further. "It's simplistic but it's quite a complex 'do. There's fake hair going in, there's all these different tricks to getting that volume in the hair. It is a very coiffed, done look," notes the hairstylist. His one piece of advice? Don't do this at home. Hair this done should be sculpted by a pro, he adds.
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