Yep, that’s a wig. Not a Barbie-blonde tapestry, not a woven chestnut basket, a wig.
With wacked-out hair confections made of clay, styrofoam and 100% human hair, the 23-year-old French “lord of locks”, Charlie Le Mindu, is revolutionizing le monde de cheveaux. (Not to mention all those doorways that may need to be widened for the giant headpieces coming through.)
Le Mindu was the only designer at London Fashion Week to send a collection down the runway almost entirely focused on out-of-this-world wigs.
Check out the show from London Fashion Week:
Le Mindu recently spoke with the New York Times Magazine blog about the latest collection:
I create different styles from my basic knowledge of big hairstyles: the pineapple-shaped up-do, the Eiffel tower. They all look like they sound. I build them … using Styrofoam, clay and always human hair. Obviously the second collection was more established than the first. I had 15 wigs in my first collection, 12 in my second along with 5 tops, 3 pair of pants and many accessories, like bags. Everything is handmade and it takes ages.
But, Le Mindu says, his creations are not for sale. They are curated in his showroom [also his flat] and stylists who are interested can file their request.
“I don’t want to sell in boutiques,” he told the Times, “First, they’re too expensive, and second, I don’t know who would buy them, in terms of a regular client. I think it’s easier for me to sell them to museums like I did in Rotterdam.”
[One of Le Mindu’s wigs was on display until January 10 as part of the “Art in Fashion” exhibit at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuingen in Rotterdam.]
A while back, The Fash Pack blogged that Le Mindu took his first dip into the world of hairstyling at the tender age of 13, a child prodigy at the French Hair Academy.
And according to a Q&A on Diane Pernet’s blog, A Shaded View, Mindu has always been thinking up absurdities.
When I was six I was doing the hair of my Barbie and I was giving them a Mullet. The best was their haircolour. When they were blonde I liked dunking them in the swimming pool to make their hair green. Not because of the chlorine, but because of the algae. At 14 I worked at a kind of punk salon in Bordeaux. Even dogs were coming to get their hair trimmed.
When asked his favorite hair cut, he answered: “when people have hair on the side and bald on the top. Then they let it grow log enough to cover the bald part.” (!)
For a while after that he was even cutting hair at an all-night club in Berlin:
I am not that into drugs, but most of the fun people in Berlin are and they’re in the clubs at night, so I said, well, I guess I am going to cut hair at night. And it worked. I was 15 and cutting hair in Peach’s boyfriend’s club, Rio. I Set up shop around 11 p.m., had my first client around midnight and finished around 6 a.m. People started coming to the clubs for a haircut rather than a dance.
Well the all-nighters certainly paid off. He’s now a favorite of pop cultural oddities like Peaches, MGMT and Lady Gaga, who recently wore three of his creations in her latest delightfully demented video, “Bad Romance.”
And while many commonfolk might decline prancing around in one of these brilliant show stoppers, I can’t help but secretly wish I had some sly stylist who could make a stealthy pit stop by Le Mindu’s flat. One giant slice of hair please, in magenta!