Interview: Guido Palau, top hairstylist

Guido Palau is one of the most iconic, celebrated and adored hairstylists in the industry – and he’s also one of the busiest, especially during the fashion month. Responsible for creating hairstyles of some of the most influential shows of the season (Marc Jacobs, Prada, Dior and Valentino, to name a few) he can easily be considered as a trend setter when it comes to the red caret and street style.

Last October, right after the Spring Summer 17 shows were over, I sat down to Guido, who is also Redken’s creative director, to discuss the most relevant and memorable moments of the season. It was, as always, such an inspirational and lovely chat and I hope you like it too.

. Trickiest hair
Marc Jacobs – it took a long time to organise the styles and the colours… We had the hair made and then had it coloured which took a month to put together.

. Most used product of the season
Redken’s Full Force 23 hairspray. The last few days I have been using a lot of spray, for Givenchy, Sacai and McQueen. It’s always one of the most used products in my kit, but this season I used it more for styling than holding, not to set, but to create the hair.

. Most used tool
My hands… We had a combination of a lot of natural as well as sculptural styles. I’ve been cutting a lot of hairs as well, so perhaps scissors too. Alex Wang, Coach, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Sacai… Some were very radical, like Prada, but luckily the models don’t go crazy – they don’t seem to be so bothered!

. The biggest comeback
Versace’s stick straight hair was something I haven’t done in a long time. It was interesting to work with straight hair, I used Satin Wear to blow dry then ironed and filled the sides with some layers. It was interesting to use the straightening iron again, having not used it in fashion for… I don’t know, a while! That was a comeback.

. The surprising miss
There was a bit of everything, romance, hard, natural and hair cuts… One thing I didn’t use was hair extensions. There was a time when they were everywhere and it was a nightmare! Now it doesn’t seem to be a trend.

. Current dream hair
I like the very simplistic bobs I cut at Prada, the “classic-ness” of them, the simplicity, it felt very refreshing and effortlessly chic.

. The icon of the season
Each show had a different icon, there wasn’t a particular woman that was showing all the time. Each house was very true to themselves, the house was it’s own image. There wasn’t a “Brigitte Bardot everywhere” this season. I loved the styles at Prada and McQueen, when you get through them and it works and the designer is happy, you like them!

. The hair that’s going to be a hit on the streets
Prada. It was the cut that everybody liked, but also the ponytails were very simple, minimalistic and had a lot of style, I think people will be watching the ponytail again – of course it’s always there in a way, but I’m talking about a very high fashion context. Prada makes people really look at things again. The simplicity of something groomed, how it can be very stylish. It goes against the natural in a way.
{Vic says: my guess is the Dior braided knot} Yes there was definitely some appeal to it, people loved it backstage. There’s some appeal to having the braid and the knot – thats something Maria Grazia is very good at, touching women sensibilities…

. The hair you will be doing a lot for the campaigns
You never know what’s going to happen, sometimes they want to replicate the look from the show, sometimes not… We have to wait and see.

. Any interesting backstage moment you can recall?
I had a really nice backstage moment yesterday, doing the hair of a very good friend of mine’s daughter, Elfie. Rosemary Ferguson, her mom, was a model, we lived together in NY in the 90’s and I was doing Elfie’s hair at McQueen. Rosemary was there and I was like… How did this happen? Elfie is now 17 so it’s crazy… It was a very tender and sweet moment, I have a lot of affection for them, the mother was super proud.

{Special thanks to Guido & Redken for this interview}