mbfw16: backstage with redken at zhivago
by annika hein on may 17, 2016

Drawing inspiration from the film ‘Death Becomes Her’, REDKEN Hair Director Richard Kavanagh created a theatrical but feminine look anchored by soft asymmetry and a fractured beauty for Zhivago. Our collaboration with Redken at MBFWA took us backstage, where we spoke more with Richard about the correlation between hair and fashion and the important influence of resort. 

Backstage @ Zhivago, 5:17PM, Monday 16th May. 

The Grey Attic: Hair is to fashion, as… 
Richard Kavanagh: Hair is to fashion as the rhythm section is to a great song. 

TGA:  Every look should start with?
RK: Hair that’s in the best quality; condition is the word I should say—the best condition. 

TGA: What is your favourite era in hair history and why?
RK: Ooh good question. Um, I would say my favourite era in hair history is, I want to reference the Dutch masters—the portrait queens. You know, Vermeer, Henna…those guys. Because, the hair in those things is so utilitarian, but so incredibly and beautifully detailed. And such interesting shapes… 

TGA: What is the one Redken product that everyone should have?
RK: Ooh, only one? Come on! Have you seen my product kit? Umm, the one Redken product that everybody should have is Diamond Oil. 

TGA: Okay, and why?
RK: For me, a drop of Diamond Oil in the middle lengths and ends before you blow dry will make your hair like you’re a seven-year-old girl again.

TGA: Can you describe Fashion Week in three words? 
RK: Fashion week in three words? Chaos… I was going to pure joy, but joy. Because that would be two words… Ah chaos, joy and ah, sleeplessness. 

TGA: Where’s the most noticeable place your career has taken you?
RK: The most noticeable place? Ooh, shiver me timbers. I would say, umm, doing the Yves Saint Laurent anniversary show in the Grand Palais in Paris… as a place? Yeah. That would be it. 

TGA: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve heard today?
RK: The most interesting thing I’ve heard today… is um, we don’t open until 11:30am! 

TGA: [Laughs] Who said that?
RK: The sushi shop I tried to get my lunch from. 

TGA: No! [Laughs] Um, has the fact that Fashion Week is now resort [this year] changed how you would have prepared and approached your direction?
RK: It has; the fact that it is resort has really changed the way I think about hair. And I think it’s really changed the way the designers think about presenting their collections globally. They’re much more interested in a creative collaboration with the entire team, including using the hair director, to come up with something new; for a global market. Rather than, in years gone by in many cases they would look to Europe, to the professors, and particularly in Europe, Milan, Paris, and you know, go let’s nod to that—they’re cool, they’re cool, they’re cool, so it was very outward looking. And what it’s done [the resort element] has made the industry grow up. And say, oh hang on, we have to stand on our own two feet, we have to be our own creatives on the global scene as the first stop on the resort season.

TGA: What is the inspiration behind this look for Zhivago?
RK: The inspiration behind the Zhivago look is, really the idea of fractured beauty. Um, and that comes from references like Death Becomes Her, the 90s film with Meryl Streep, and ah Goldie Hawn. And the idea that we live in this culture that takes itself so seriously aesthetically, everybody is face tuning and putting on every kind of filter to make themselves look so perfect all the time that, you know, everybody knows it’s not real. You know what I mean? And so, taking that inspiration and making it into a beauty that translates on the runway, and [that] still feels cool, because she still has to feel cool we’re at fashion week and it’s Resort 2017. So the hair has this cool energy, a narrow silhouette, and it just kind of feels easy, but then we’re taking a thread and we’re binding the whole head, the face and the hair to make a shape out of her…

TGA: And does everyone have the same shape?
RK: Yeah so everyone has a similar aesthetic, so it’s this idea of this very cool girl hair but with this very intense, fractured beauty. You know what I mean? So the silhouette still feels modern, very now and the texture of the hair is what the girls want; we’re working with Diamond Oil and Pillow Proof Two Day Extender to create that lightness of texture and we’re working with our GHD or curling iron to create that little bit of bend, to give it that modern lift and texture. But we’re making it a function of the beauty, a fractured beauty almost like a cubist moment kind of thing.

TGA: And what are the key products that you’re using?
RK: The key products are Diamond Oil and Pillow Proof Two Day Extender as a style item.


Shop all the MBFW Redken looks here