- Edition 2, Chapter 5.1 -

Hair Talk: Alannah




I love the challenge of fixing a messed-up cut. It makes me do things I wouldn't do normally. Occasionally, Wes and I do a duet; I start with cutting an unconventional line and hand it off to Wes as a challenge. It's not about technical perfection; quite the opposite, in fact. In this case, the result was a shape that looks like it just happened, or she cut it herself, or her mother did. In any case, it's powerful. Watch what we call a Kamikaze cut.





When Michael sees something in a model – a certain confidence, openness to change – we perform this exercise. When confronted with something that looks like it went wrong, or a really bad haircut, there’s often a magical moment – a shift in one’s line of thinking: you need to make the very thing that’s not right work, and design something around it. In this case it works very well; it has the charm of a child having cut it, but designed by two pairs of trained of eyes – a Cy Twombly moment in hair. 


Alannah’s hair was an artificial candy-apple red. It didn’t look bad on her but I could tell it had outlived its welcome – that happens with color, even the most stunning. She was no longer radiant, and her complexion was being flattened rather than illuminated by it. Color is is just like anything else: makeup, style, even attitude – sometimes it needs to change. Color is fascinating in that regard, you will never, EVER, have the same color twice.

When I stripped her hair of the red and gave her this crystallized, copper penny shade, it brought out the warmth in her face. It is much more sophisticated and complimentary. It doesn’t distract; it is a part of a whole.