It was a little darker than usual backstage today at Alexander Wang’s downtown Pier 36 show space, where models peeked out from behind slick, slightly matted strands of jet-black hair. Among the designer’s usual lineup of raven-hued favorites, including Kendall Jenner, Binx Walton, Jamie Bochert, and Catherine McNeil, there were a few formerly blonde faces shrouded in inky, choppy layers. For Wang’s fall 2015 collection of chained, studded, and shredded separates, hairstylist Guido Palau explained, “We dyed a few of the girls black this week, because it’s just a dark-haired look. The blondes look good, but this was a heavy goth moment. I mean, listen to this music,” he said, pointing to a speaker pumping out Prodigy. “Wait until you see the shoes.”
A handful of models—including a formerly platinum Ashleigh Good—were sent to colorist Victoria Hunter at Manhattan’s Whittemore House for the transformation in advance of Wang’s show. “It’s more modern than that shiny blue black that you might get out of a box,” said Whittemore of the multi-tonal matte hue she whipped up for the occasion. “There are different levels within the hair, and more golden undertones under the base. It’s punk, but it looks natural. This is the new black.”
Once dyed, Guido and his team shaped shaggy layers around the cheekbones and cut a few swaths of forehead-skimming fringe. “It’s that late seventies–rock shape. Alex wanted to see different personalities on the runway—different haircuts, different lengths—and layers give personality,” he said, admiring Bochert’s face-framing strands as she walked by.
“I’m in my element,” admitted Bochert, whose own coffee shag seemed predestined for this show. “It’s reminding me of being a teenager, when I would dye my hair black—I was listening to The Cure and Nine Inch Nails, I was really into goth,” she said. “When I went for my fitting Alex said, ‘There’s no way I couldn’t have you in this one.’”
For a finishing touch of grunge, Palau practically soaked the models’ hair with Redken Diamond oil, pulling pieces in front of the face and pushing it over the ears. “The dirtier, the better,” he explained of the slick, slightly sweaty effect, which looked well suited to the designer’s club kids. “It’s the latest incarnation of the Alexander Wang girl,” he said. “Cool, urban, downtown.” Prepare for a hair blackout south of Fourteenth street.
See the Alexander Wang fall 2015 collection:
The post Alexander Wang’s Brunette Brigade: The Designer’s Model Army Goes Goth appeared first on Vogue.
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