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July 28 2014

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The Beauty Buzz On Those McQueen Hats

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Guido Palau may be most well-known for his work with hair. He straightens it, curls it, teases it, twists it, and ties it up into all manner of updos at the shows each season, thus setting trends for months to come. But a little-known fact about the Redken creative consultant is that he moonlights as an accessories collaborator. “The head treatment we came up with was a beekeeper—bees, life, sexuality—that was the brief,” Palau explained backstage at Alexander McQueen, emphasizing that “There’s no hair [here].” There was, however, an elaborate veil/hat hybrid that Palau and McQueen designer Sarah Burton worked on together. “It evolved after I did the Met,” Palau elaborated of his relationship with Burton that saw him create a series of masks—crafted out of lace, leather, fur, and even feathers—for the museum’s heralded exhibition on Lee McQueen, which were meant to illustrate the fact that the late designer’s dresses often became a part of Palau’s hair looks. Palau has made a point to honor that legacy since Burton took over, turning out Spring 2012′s gorgeous lace masks and Fall 2012′s silver see-through visors and platinum blond wigs that caused a stir on the runway—and later on the street-style circuit. “When I come in with Sarah, we create a character. She shows me the clothes and if it involves hair, it does; and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” he continued, seemingly content to throw a little Redken Hardwear 16 Super-Strong Gel onto strands, create a hair wrap, and simply cover it with a wig cap. So who is the McQueen character for Spring 2013? “She’s empowered but feminine at the same time,” Palau surmised, pointing out the sexually charged black vinyl that he and Burton chose for the headpieces, which sat on top of the black wig caps. “She’s not a shrinking violet,” he added—and for those of us looking to be wowed at the end of a very long month of shows, that’s a very good thing.

Photo: Marcus Tondo/Gorunway.com

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