August 20 2014

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Courtney, Marilyn, And Farrah Get Colorful, Backstage At Meadham Kirchhoff


When we arrived backstage at Meadham Kirchhoff, 15 lingerie-clad girls had assembled by the runway entrance, their hair dyed an array of candy-coated colors. But this wasn’t just another embodiment of Spring’s hair color trend—which became abundantly clear when we made our way over to hair artist James Pecis. “They’re Courtney wigs,” Pecis said of the show’s opening act, for which he snipped a series of blonde wigs into Courtney Love circa-1991 shags, dip-dyeing them shades of pastel blue, cotton candy pink, and canary yellow, then coating them with John Frieda Thickening Spray and throwing them in a bag for a month to get a real, negligent kind of matted-down texture. (“How’s that for a styling tip?” Pecis joked.) For his second act, in which he hand-set 25 additional flaxen wigs, curling them with medium-barrel irons and styling them with John Frieda Hairspray, Pecis was inspired by a number of other iconic blondes. “Each wig came with its own specific photo reference,” he explained, showing us a Madonna card, followed by tags for Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Veronica Lake, and even Farrah Fawcett, which he gave “the Meadham twist” by splattering strands with acrylic paint in the same confectionery palette. “There’s not a stitch of black in the collection,” he continued—or in the makeup, for that matter, for which face painter Florrie White was channeling Pop Art. “It’s Marilyn, but it’s Warhol’s Marilyn,” she said of the inspiration behind the über-bright pigments she drew onto models’ faces way outside the lines. “Imperfection is perfection for this,” she said. “We made the Courtney girls put on their lipstick with their eyes closed!” As for her own application techniques, which leaned heavily on MAC Paintsticks and Chromacakes, the designers gave the right-handed White one piece of advice: “They told me to apply all the makeup with my other hand!”


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