August 23 2014

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3 posts tagged "Sarah Burton"

Helmet Hair, Backstage at Alexander McQueen


AlexanderMcQueenAlexander McQueen’s woman is never a wallflower and always a warrior, hair pro Guido Palau explained, fitting all forty models with metal helmets (designed by both Sarah Burton and himself). And similar to the many wigs we saw for Spring 2014, the armor was meant to provide “instant character” and “unify,” rather than reference a certain period—citing everything from Tron to twenties bobs as an inspiration for the final shape. Since the “head jewelry” was one-size-fits-all, Palau slicked back strands using Redken Hardwear 16 Super Strong Gel and pinned sponges in various places to prevent anything from wobbling on the runway.

With Jean-Michel Basquiat serving as one of the references, face painter Peter Philips perhaps looked to the artist’s early days, when he dabbled in graffiti on the Lower East Side of New York City, and blasted hairlines with Fardel water-based black pro paint using an air-brush system. “I wanted to create a shadow that would connect the face to the helmet and make the models more anonymous,” he said, also noting the Maasai people and how he aimed to create a tribelike effect. And while Philips said he’d normally describe the house muse as a “nonexistent girl,” this season she retained a sense of reality, as the skin was kept natural in lieu of porcelain doll- or alien-like complexions. “They’re warriors, but not space warriors,” he said of the finished product, bringing the fantastical McQueen woman slightly (and I reiterate, slightly) back down to earth.

Photo: Gianni Pucci /

McQ’s Children of the Cornrows


McQThe Fall campaigns are dropping left and right, and today we were blown away by the new David Sims-lensed images for McQ Alexander McQueen. Sarah Burton and co. tapped up-and-coming models April Tiplady (who has appeared in recent editorials in Paris Vogue and Love) and Tom Gaskin, as well as Crystal Castles frontwoman Alice Glass to channel the collection‘s punky theme. More so than the clothes themselves, it was the killer cornrows—not to mention the models’ fly-girl-worthy hoop earrings—that really caught our attention here. Could allover braids be having a post-Beyoncé moment? We also clocked them on Tricia, the tattooed street rat from our favorite new series, Orange Is the New Black.

The Beauty Buzz On Those McQueen Hats


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/