I have seen a lot of strange things used in backstage at the fashion show – including straws and floss – but in the spring of 2017 Chanel show today in Paris, hairstylist Sam McKnight used a vacuum cleaner to create his perspex peak tails. Yes, that’s right, a vacuum cleaner.
The entire Chanel show was centered around the water. Designer Karl Lagerfeld transformed the Grand Palais into a lush jungle with hanging vineyards and royal waterfalls. The models wore transparent boots and lush shades of green and blue eyes – applied dramatically and paired with pink and bright pink lips to Guy Bourdin, according to makeup artist Tom Pecheux. Some of the models even wore clear rain hats – like the one my Baba used to wear, but the chicer way.
“I took my inspiration from Karl’s wonderful way with transparency,” says designer Sam McKnight. “When I saw the sketches of the waterfalls, I felt that the hair must have felt as if it had been sprayed with dew, not soaked.” His styling process was simple: pick up the hair on a low ponytail and use his modern Hairspray to moisten the hair around the face of the model (which was more moistened by the water that falls on the runway).
But McKnight did not stop there. He took the transparent theme of the show even further by sliding the horse tails through a cylinder of clear perspex, which turned out to be not such a simple task. That’s where the vacuum comes in. “To get the horsetails inside the tube perfectly, without hooking, we suck them with a cleaner,” he explains. You can see your process in a video you captured below. It reminds me of that viral video of a British dad using a vacuum cleaner to put his daughter’s hair in the morning.
When it comes to getting ready-made models behind the scenes at fashion shows, time is of the essence, and McKnight’s vacuum cut certainly saved his team a lot. But surely I never thought I would be writing “Chanel” and “empty” in the sentence came. But there is a first for everything I suppose.
Speaking of strange beauty products, see comedian Amanda Seales review some of them: