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The most head-turning looks from the A/W19 Couture shows

The Show: Fendi
The Hair: Sam McKnight using Hair By Sam McKnight

Fifty-four wigs, fifty-four unique colours and one bold statement cut. Sam McKnight (with a little help from long-time colour collaborator Nicola Clarke) managed to make the round, pageboy bob cool again at Fendi’s couture showcase, which took place in the shadow of Rome’s iconic Coliseum.

In line with the theme of the collection, ‘The Dawn Of Romanity’, Sam looked to the classic, weighty shapes sported by the empire’s statues for hair inspiration. He then introduced Roman marble tones that mimicked the both the signature opulence of the era and the photo-realistic prints that tumbled across the clothes. Each model’s wig was cut to frame their face, and custom shades – spanning greys, pinks, apricots, and various gradients from light to dark – were created to pick out the colour veins in their individual outfits. Styled using Modern Hairspray for brilliant shine and body, the ends were curled under slightly to make sure not a single hair fell out of place in the 33-degree heat.


The Show: Julien Fournié
The Hair: Cristian Pignatta at ELSL Management supported by Neville Hair & Beauty Salon, using L’Oréal Professionnel

Think couture, and crimped hair is probably not the first look you would picture, but Cristian Pignatta and the Neville Hair & Beauty team brought crimping back in a big way… and it worked. Juxtaposed with the intricately textured ebony garments (we spotted crocodile skin), the hair was refreshingly modern and, dare we say, a little bit punk.

The front three inches of the hair was crimped forward, while the rest of the hair was crimped backwards. An infinity braid to the back of the ear was secured with elastic, before the hair was dressed using L’Oréal Professionnel TECNI.ART Dust and Infinium Hairspray.


The Show: Toni Maticevski
The Hair: Laurent Phillipon, Bumble and Bumble global fashion director

Accompanying a collection inspired by an ‘about-to-bloom flower’ taken to ‘heightened levels’, Laurent Phillipon created refined, wet-look styles that remained dishevelled enough to suggest life waiting to burst forth.

Laurent and the team began by spritzing Bumble and Bumble Surf Foam Blow Dry Spray through the models’ lengths, before blow drying the hair backwards – away from the face – using a comb and then their fingertips to sculpt it into place. Next, the brand’s Thickening Spray was worked through the dry hair and finger-combed from roots to ends, before layers of backstage staple Holding Spray and Does It All hairspray were used to create a piecey, wet-look finish.

If the hair was long enough, Laurent twisted the glossy lengths into spiralled bun, leaving ends free and the swept-back hair gently textured, as opposed to brushed smooth. The final look called to mind an unfurling rose covered with droplets of dew – elegant, organic and effortlessly beautiful.


The Show: Valentino
The Hair: Guido, Redken global creative director

As Guido himself stated, this look was “classic couture”, keeping the hairline clean and polished while a traditional low, nape-set bun sat on the neck. Simple yet elegant.

A tail comb was used to create that perfect centre parting, before a Redken Frizz Dismiss Rebel tame was used throughout lengths and ends to tame frizz and add heat protection. Hair was blown out straight with a boar-bristled brush, then gathered into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck. The pony was twisted into a low, flat knot against the shape of the head and pinned in place – a little Fashion Work 12 Versatile Working Spray was then spritzed for hold and a glossy finish.


The Show: Guo Pei
The Hair: Cristian Pignatta at ELSL Management supported by Neville Hair & Beauty Salon using L’Oréal Professionnel

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you couture hair at its most avant-garde, in the realm of fantasy (yes, there are birds in cages) yet breathtaking in its placement alongside the Chinese queen of couture. Rihanna wore a 16ft embroidered yellow creation by Guo Pei at the Met Ball in 2015, so you know she’s a fan of drama in her garments, and this show delivered on every level.

Perhaps the multi knots are the most translatable here, with Cristian Pignatta and the Neville Hair & Beauty once again embracing crimped hair, before creating large twisted knots using a zig zag section. Two inches of the hair was left out of the knot and then a straightener was used to add a textured wave into the ends. A light mist of L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium hairspray alongside a sprinkle of TECNI.ART Super Dust left a textured matte effect.


The Show: Givenchy
The Hair: Guido, Redken global creative director

Sculptural, wing-span shapes, feathered texture and fanned-out ends… with just a hint of A Flock of Seagulls new-wave styling – the looks created by Guido at Givenchy’s couture show were gravity defying yet graceful. Inspired by the collection’s central theme of ‘a noble bird woman trapped in the house’, the Redken global creative director ran with the ornithological theme and took flight with four distinct styles.

“I remember growing up in the early ’80s, girls doing a raw version of this—spraying their bangs and hair into these sculptural shapes,” he explained to Vogue, highlighting the most striking hair look. “I wanted it to be sophisticated rather than raw… It’s grand bourgeois with a punk attitude.”

The scaffolding for the dynamic shapes came in the form of Redken’s Triple Take 32 Extreme High-Hold hairspray. After Redken Satinwear 04 had been layered through the hair prior to blow-drying lengths into place, the hero hairspray was used to mould and lacquer strands precisely, creating extreme definition and gloss as it was combed and set throughout.