February Cover: Future Perfect by Guido Palau

Redken Global Creative Director Guido presents a collection of hairstyles inspired by the runway. 

All of his work, even the most glamorous, has an edge to it, what he describes as a stylized, punky feeling. “I try to get into the nuance of it,” says Guido, who does not want to be pigeonholed. “I never say I do this kind of hair or that kind of hair. As soon as you say that, it’s your cross to bear.”  Known as the leading trendsetter in the fashion industry, Guido collaborates with as many as 30 fashion designers each season. “Fashion matters,” says Guido, whose advice is to distill what you see on the runway and make it a point of inspiration for yourself or for your clients, borrowing elements from each look. “Runway is for discussion,” he says. “Hairdressers need to keep pushing, use products in a new way. If we didn’t have grunge in the ‘90s, we wouldn’t have beach waves today, and when hairdressers start reacting against beach waves, we’ll have the next big idea.” For our cover story, Guido took a very clinical approach to showing style. All of the hair color is black, all of the clothing is monochromatic or silver, and all of the models are in profile. Taking old proportions and showing them in a new way, reinterpreting the work he did for Prada or Marc Jacobs, Guido has created something that’s almost futuristic. “Everyone hated punk at first, but its influence is still being felt. We’ve appropriated elements of it, like exaggerated texture or roughness in a blowout,” says Guido, who believes that it’s the appropriation of ideas from previous decades that makes you question hair—is it old, is it new, what is it? The photographs themselves on these six pages resemble Dutch paintings that have been computer-generated, a stylistic decision designed to make Guido’s point, which is simply, “You can’t go forward without taking something from the past.” What you take away from this exercise is up to you. All that’s required is that you keep an open mind.

Photographer: Matt Irwin

The idea was to create a bridge between old and new. It's a look that Guido describes as "very Avatar, very futuristic but with a tribal influence."
At Alexander McQueen for Spring 2016, Guido used a needle and cotton thread to sew long hair onto the head. "There's something weirdly romantic about it," Guido says of this look, which is a lot shorter and has tendrils at the sides to suggest modernity. "Think of it as a cross between classicism and futurism."
Intrigued by the whole androgynous moment we're experiencing in fashion and beauty, Guido drew inspiration from '50s bad boys and women in the '70s "who were kind of tough or strange, but might also have French sophistication."
"All of my work moves from past to future," says Guido of this image, which he describes as "painterly." Indeed, there are elements here that suggest paintings of noblewomen from the Middle Ages, but he also pays homage to the children in their "awkward bowl cuts" in the 1960 British horror film, Village of the Damned.
This image recalls the fine are prints or ink paintings of Japanese geishas, while the silver hair clips provide a futuristic element.