For Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, returning to New York Fashion Week is a homecoming of sorts. After a two-year sartorial sabbatical, the American sisters return to the platform they know best, fashion week in New York City, a place where it all began some 12 years ago.
And today’s return was met with the most spectacular hair of the week. A big call, yes, but one we’re prepared to make willingly.
Led by the indomitable Odile Gilbert for TRESemmè, hair was masterfully coiffed into dreamlike, fantastical tuffs threaded with an array of fresh blooms and gilded treasures. In the flesh, it was nothing short of spectacular, and quintessentially Rodarte; feminine and fierce “and totally romantic.” The message was clear from Gilbert: “It’s what we want. We want flowers. We want romance. We want love. That’s it.” It’s true, it is what we want, we want the dream, and tonight, Rodarte gave it to us.
Much like the masterful reinvention of Baby’s Breath in Paris two years ago, Rodarte’s love for floristry and nature is clear. But it is Gilbert’s conceptual articulation of which, which is the true star.
Inspired by Rodarte’s wearable art, it’s a collaborative process with the sisters from the very beginning. “We work together since the beginning, and whatever colour the flowers are relate exactly to the dress,” she explains backstage. Incredibly, each look was wholly individual, “Everyone is different; created by the girl, by the dress.” Bespoke looks which, considering the palpable intricacy and painstaking handiwork, is remarkable.
But beneath the floral awe, a surprisingly simple hair look bloomed. “It’s a wave,” Gilbert tells me backstage. “But we don’t brush the hair.” A wave left slightly unruly, slightly raw; it was then tied in knots and softly mussed into what Gilbert describes as a “mess”. “It’s a mess!” she laughs, “we don’t want the girl to be perfect. But you have to do perfect to do imperfect.” This beautiful mess was one which commanded the utmost perfection from TRESemmé team, who were quite literally on hand and knee, sowing the seeds of Gilbert’s romantic dream into the strands of model hair, threading each strand with buds in kaleidoscopic colour.
The TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray and Dry Shampoo were employed “to treat the hair,” but interestingly, the Dry Shampoo was not used for its typical function of volume and or grit, rather, to “give light”. To aerate the hair? “C’est ça!” she exclaims, in a thick, oozy French accent.
In that same French accent, she concludes by saying: “In the end, it looks like they were in a field, and they made love to the flowers.”
C’est ça. And what a love story. Pure magic.