Last night I got to talk Spring 2012 trends with one of my favorite hairstylists, the legendary Guido Palau. Palau is the man behind the famous Alex Wang Spring 2010 side braid, and numerous other iconic looks that you see walking down runways and then being replicated in ad campaigns, magazine shoots and on streets.
We may have talked about trends (Palau doesn’t like to discuss the trends themselves, as they often don’t apply to real people and he of course doesn’t actually style hair for the shows based on trends, but rather on the designer’s inspirations and feelings), but what really struck me was the fact that Palau mentioned the girls of today that we may remember as the statement makers.
“Kim Kardashian is real. That’s what girls look like today. It’s a very huge, cultural part of what is going on, and the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta‘, it’s a very big part of what we’re seeing — as important as Lady Gaga is to a 15-year-old. So all of these things, I take in. I’m not a snob going, ‘What’s that?’ because that is real. And that is how women want to look. Kim Kardashian is how loads of women want to look. It’s a very important style statement, and that will go into my library of style and I will take that somewhere.”
He noted though, that “In New York City you wear very little makeup. But that’s New York, there’s a very cosmopolitan idea about beauty, one that we feel is very chic. But there’s a whole other side of people that would never go out without their makeup and hair done, because they don’t think it’s beautiful and sexy. Kim Kardashian wakes up with a tan face, but she’s a big inspiration to a lot of women. They become experts and they put on that amount of makeup and curl their hair like that, just to go out. It’s a lot of work — there’s a lot of young people doing that as well. It doesn’t inspire me, but I’m really aware of it.”
And then, Palau said something that left me stunned — even after I had already absorbed the fact that he had mentioned that he looked at Kim Kardashian as a style statement. “It is something culturally in 20 years time that we’re going to look back at and go, ‘That’s what it was like’. Beauty is a cultural statement but it really hits home in those periods we look back on: the 50s with Marilyn Monroe, the 70s with Farrah Fawcett, all of these major, iconic women.” It’s not just by chance that that image of her hair is so in our psyche. Kim Kardashian and that type of girl will be that for now. That’s what’s going on, this played-out idea of beauty — that’s really beauty. So that’s what I’m aware of, and try to bring into my world.”
Obviously, I don’t blame Palau for giving me this information — he’s a genius, and is just giving us what society wants. So I have to ask, WHY DO WE WANT THIS?