Runway to Reality: Making Runway Hair Practical for Everyday Clients

Oscar Blandi puts the finishing touches on a model's hair.

Hot on the heels of New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Week, we've seen an overload of high-fashion hairstyles—some practical for everyday clientele, and some that might be too couture for the office or even a wedding. We spoke with master stylist and salon owner Oscar Blandi to hear his thoughts on the simple hairstyle resurgence from this seasons' shows, and how he recreates those high-fashion styles to better suit the likes of his clientele.

Q. How do you recommend stylists make runway looks more wearable for everyday clients?

A. I always suggest simplifying. The slicked back looks from the runway can easily be "dulled down" in a sense, and recreated with a dab of oil to keep frizz in place. It looks crips, clean and it's totally "meeting appropriate" for the working girl. 


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Q. A lot of the hair styles have been very simple this season. Do you think that that helps to bridge the gap between editorial and everyday wear?

A. I definitely like that both Paris and Milan emphasized a simpler and everyday look on their models. I’ve always believed that simpler looks—a sleek bun, a straight ponytail, simple waves—better complement couture fashion than an intricate style would. It balances out the outfit. Not only does the simplicity make the runway designs feel more wearable, but the hairstyles can easily shift from runway to real life. 

Q. Why do you think the styles have been so simplistic compared to the dramatic styles we’ve seen in the past?

A. They're easier. When you balance the intricacy of the clothing and makeup with a laid back hairstyle, the focal point becomes the clothes—as fashion should be. Also, it's easier for people at the show to envision themselves in the designers’ outfits more when it’s showcased in a simpler fashion. 

Q. As a hairstylist, why do editorial looks fascinate you? 

A. The looks are so unique and individualized. The stylist has an entire vision for the designs, and then separate visions for the hair and makeup. In the end, these three visions culminate to create a diverse look that is perfectly balanced. 

Q. Your three biggest tips for turning the runway into reality. Go. 

A. First, understand your boundaries. Realize that most of what you’re styling everyday cannot be duplicated directly off the runway. Rather, use runway styles and looks for inspiration. I like to draw certain simple features from a plethora of different runway collection looks. Second, never underestimate the power of textured bobby pins, dry shampoo, oil, and heat protectant to save yourself from damaging finer hair. And last but not least, stay confident. If you give off the vibe that your look is amazing, other people will think it is too. Your energy is everything in the salon. 

 About: Oscar has become a household name, not only in New York City, but throughout the world for the brand he has built. Leaving Italy more than 20 years ago, Oscar opened his first salon within the iconic New York Landmark, The Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue. As Oscar’s business continued to grow exponentially, he eventually expanded the salon to its current location at 545 Madison Avenue; a salon with over 11,000 square feet, making it the largest salon in New York City. Oscar is a master of his craft, and has become widely known for his ability to perfect each client’s specific goal. He continues to style some of the most reputable celebrity clientele for red carpet looks, talk shows and magazine shoots. Clientele include Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Vanessa Hudgens and Jimmy Fallon among others.