Sitting inside the lobby of the ornate Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, Guido Palau is in the middle of his busy Paris Fashion Week schedule. The editorial hairstylist and Redken's Global Creative Director has a career that spans decades working with Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs, the late Alexander McQueen, and even The Met, when he created specialized wigs for the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibition in 2013.
During his week in Paris, Palau worked with brands such as Dior, Miu Miu, Valentino, Givenchy, Loewe, and more to create new hairdos for the spring 2019 runways, which of course, you can start wearing as early as now into the winter months to get ahead of everyone else.
“There was a lot of haircutting at shows this season,” said Palau. “Bangs at Miu Miu and haircuts at Givenchy, but really I don’t think there are trends now. Hair isn’t seen like that. It’s about the style of the hair. The shows are really about bringing out the woman’s personality. I feel that the shows are about individuality and that can mean an extreme haircut—getting very short bangs like at Miu Miu, or your own texture.”
For an editorial twist on individualized hair backstage at Dior, Palau created a futuristic looking wig wrap to go along with the choreographic application of kohl liner at the temples (inspired by the show’s Israeli choreographer, Sharon Eyal) and created by makeup artist and creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup Peter Philips. “It’s a way of getting rid of the hair but making it feel a little dance-like,” said Palau. “It’s contemporary and experimental, so it wraps around the head and there’s a fold in the back.” To top off the look, the hairstylist added a different thickness of headband to each model. Unlike a traditional bun or chignon, there’s no knot but rather just smoothness. “It really makes the head shape elegant and emphasizes that sort of elegance.” He used Redken Forceful 23, one of the strongest hairsprays out there, to seal the look.
At Miu Miu, Palau also put an emphasis on the extremes and the personality of models with bobs and wigs, plus a focus on micro, baby bangs. Inspired by tough girls in the late 60s and early 70s, the label accessorized many of the models’ heads with Swarovski crystal and silk headbands with larger than life sunglasses with little bows. While some had barely-there bobs, others had skinny lengths that went down their backs, “like a rebellious girl that would cut her fringe in an extreme way.” To try the look for fall in real life, he said, “If you decided you did want a haircut like this, I would suggest going to your hairdresser and pulling out different looks you like and then getting your hairdresser to choose one that suits you. It has to be a discussion of how to adapt that to your face. Most cuts today can be adapted to your face.”
And at Alexander McQueen, the Palau took braids and made them new with the liberal use of gel. Models’ hair was gelled back to their heads and braids were skinny for a new take on the trend. “I’ve used Redken Hardwear Gel 16 to create severe, other-worldly, Pagan-like braids with a side of romanticism that’s been created with some long hair extensions in the front,” said Palau. “I’ve set the whole look with a heavy hand of Redken Forceful 23 to lock it in and keep each hair in place.”
Lastly, at Valentino, Palau created one of the most wearable looks to try for fall. Sleek, shiny and soft hair with just the slightest bit of bend lends itself to a slightly vintage vibe. “The hair look at Valentino is [for] a beautiful, slightly eccentric woman,” he said. “It’s a very easy look, but still rich and luxe.” He blew out the lengths with Redken Satinwear 04 and used a medium-barreled iron to sporadically place some texture in the hair.
When it comes to the best products to use for fall, Palau finally adds: “I think to create texture in your hair, Wind Blown 05 is a great product, the new Dry Shampoo Powder 02 is great for texturizing things. It’s about using products to harness texture or smooth out texture this season.”