By Maria D. Valderrama
Paris, Oct 1 (EFE).- Artcurial is preparing to auction an unusual collection of 21 sculptures made from human hair by the French artist Charlie Le Mindu, also known as the king of Haute Coiffure and creator of wigs and clothing for the world’s most eccentric celebrities.
Set to go under the hammer on Wednesday, the once exclusive pieces reserved for the likes of Lady Gaga, Lana del Rey and Dua Lipa, but also the most prestigious fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel or Jean-Paul Gaultier, will now be made available to a global audience.
“With this sale I am getting rid of some of my favorite pieces, the most iconic of my career, but it is also good for me. It will be a renewal,” says Le Mindu in an interview with Efe.
Le Mindu, who on Saturday is collaborating with British icon Vivienne Westwood for her show at Paris Fashion Week, is deemed one of the most punk designers around. He sports tattoos on his eyelids and an uninhibited and unfettered attitude.
He is driven by an almost obsessive passion for hair, which has fueled iconic creations like the wig worn by Lady Gaga in her “Bad Romance” video.
“I think it represents a very iconic moment in pop. Among celebrities I have a lot of demands but I don’t like big personalities, I prefer emerging talents,” says Le Mindu.
Le Mindu has been experimenting with hair since he was little, shaving his Barbies or putting them in the pool until the hair turned green.
“I was always a bit of a punk,” he jokes.
Later, long afternoons at his aunt’s salon in southwestern France (he’s originally from Bordeaux) convinced him of the incredible capacity for emotion that hair has.
“Hair for me is like a fabric, I don’t even see it as something that is on the head. It is a material that is difficult to work with, but the ‘couturiers’ could do it perfectly,” says the artist.
He snaps up some 70 kilos of hair a year and buys it from Peru, India and Eastern Europe.
One of the dresses for sale at Artcurial is made with 30,000 painted false nails and (Russian) hair dyed for days in a bathtub, a process that will allow it to stay that way without losing an intense blue color.
“You don’t have to use hairdressing products, it’s better to use resins and experiment. I’ve already seen myself putting hair in the microwave, for example,” he says.
His works have also appeared in theaters such as the Crazy Horse cabaret, have dressed singers such as Peaches and have been exhibited in museums.
Now, he hopes that whoever is interested in buying them will know the story behind the artworks.
“I hope that it’s not just Lady Gaga fans who buy things. I want people who will take care of them and who understand hair.” EFE