Backstage at Alexander McQueen, I walked into a flurry of people stitching away with needle and thread. And no, it wasn’t a bunch of seamstresses rushing to finish the spring collection. It was hairstylist Guido and his team sewing the models’ hair into one of the most unique, most breathtaking updos I’ve ever seen.
“We’re using Redken Windblown to give the hair some guts, and needle and thread. That’s it,” said Guido. And he wasn’t lying. There were no bobby pins, no elastics, and no hair spray to hold the hair together, just yards of invisible thread.”[Designer] Sarah Burton wanted the hair to feel very natural and soft and feminine, but also artisanal, since a lot of the collection is based on artisanal workmanship.”
And it was that homespun quality that really inspired Guido. After creating a messy middle part, he fed the needle and thread through the hair, starting at the hairline on either side of the part and letting the thread knot as he went to create tiny loops and lumps. “I wanted there to be interest when you looked at the models from the front, not just the back,” he explained. Once he finished with the front of the hair, he then continued to sew the bottom half, again letting the thread catch as he went. “You know when you put something through a sewing machine and when you pull it, the thread ruches? That’s the idea we were going for.” And for anyone who has used a sewing machine and failed (like me), you know what Guido is talking about.
After seeing the exquisite embroidery, couture-like levels of embellishment, and manipulation of fabrics come down the runway, people will surely continue to praise the McQueen brand for its high levels of craftsmanship and beauty. What’s rather mind-blowing is that all that intricacy and attention to detail isn’t just confined to the clothes—it’s from the neck up, as well.
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