Matty Bovan S/S20 – it’s about to get messy

 Syd Hayes and Josh Wood joined forces to create hand-painted ponytails with a twist for Matty Bovan S/S20.  Creative HEAD was given an insight into the process…

PAINT loves a good colour story from London Fashion Week, but the Matty Bovan show delivered, and then some! But it all started with the pretty ponies…

“This look is all about the perfectly straight, long, silky ponytail – the woman’s dream,” says Syd Hayes, lead stylist for the BaByliss PRO hair team at Matty Bovan S/S20. “With Matty, there is always a ‘look’ that’s super cool. There’s a slightly grown up feel to this collection, with a boldness to it. By creating the pony with colour, it enhances the collection. Hair should be interesting – it should have looks and everyone’s hair is slightly different. This look is cool, elegant and fun.”

For this season, Syd worked with Redken global creative color director, Josh Wood, who hand coloured every extension weft with roots to match each model’s hair, then pastels through the ends. For the styling, the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Straightener was used to create the perfect pony, along with the BaByliss PRO Cordless Super Motor Trimmer to achieve a blunt, straight finish along the ends.

“Matty shared with us big visors that are to be worn in the show. They’re actually Japanese film lenses and they needed to be secured into the hair, so we knew it was going to have to be a ponytail to hold the ‘hats’ as it were,” reveals Josh when we join him backstage.  “Also, we wanted to get the hair completely out the way – the collection is pretty extreme! Matty has such an eloquent way of using colour, I love how he uses it.”

The designer sent Josh a sample of the fabrics he was using this season, including the Liberty print with William Morris, and in that palette of the print there were lots of antique, pastel colours. “So, we had the idea that we would make ponytails and dip them into this pastel colour,” explains Josh. “We also created a root within the hair extensions using the model’s hair colour, so there’s a blend from the model’s own hair into the pastel.”

The next challenge was deciding what the team was going to do on the models with dark hair, as pastels just can’t be created in the same way. A unique solution was settled on… one that set the PAINT Instagram feed alight! “That’s where the idea came that we would dip the hair into the household paint, with Farrow & Ball to match the paint colours to the hair colours!” smiles Josh. “Matty loved that because in a way it was really bringing colour to life, which is something I think that he does incredibly well.”

A selection of pale slate, duck egg, lavender and eau de nil powdery pastel hues were painted directly onto the blonde ponytail extensions in Josh’s Holland Park atelier in the days running up to the show, using Redken colour. But to achieve the same four colours on the brunettes, ponytails were dipped backstage in Farrow &Ball paint in Yeabridge Green, Lulworth Blue, Cinder Rose and Plummett no 272 – bringing an added element of strength and toughness to the texture.

“We made ‘hair paint’ a thing!” laughs Josh. “Matty always pushes the boundaries from a creative perspective. It’s amazing for us to work with him in a complete artistic and painterly freedom of expression.”