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Free-Floating Curls At Badgley Mischka Fall 2012 Show

Janelle Monáe isn’t the only one looking to German director Fritz Lang’s impressionist film Metropolis for inspiration. The quirky songbird’s debut album, Metropolis: The Chase Suite, strung together a series of conceptual songs that touched upon the dominant themes of the 1927 film: from the futuristic dystopian world to the social stratification therein and the forbidden love affair that threatened to upend this carefully controlled class structure.

For Fall 2012, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, the duo behind Badgley Mishcka, also drew inspiration from Lang’s masterpiece, crafting an exquisitely elegant collection informed by the classic film’s cinematography, incorporating rich metallic fabrics,  strong silhouettes reminiscent of the film’s Art Deco-inspired skyscrapers, visual references to the Maschinenmensch (a robot constructed in the film) via fabric choices and intricate embroideries, geometric cut-outs inspired by the angular shapes in the film, beading and fringe that seemed to play with notions of light and darkness, and even mirror-like elements that perhaps nodded to Lang’s pioneering use of the Schüfftan process special effects technique.

To counteract the structured elements and strong silhouettes of the garments in the Badgley Mischka Fall 2012 collection (some of which can be seen above), the hair look created for the show was devoid of too much definition.In fact, Morocannoil  key hair stylist Peter Gray wanted the hair to feel “light and airy,” free and unfettered — essentially creating a duality between the clothing and the makeup that, interestingly enough, spoke to the tensions portrayed in the film, the battle between stratification and class equality, between hierarchy and egalitarianism. Hair, then, was curled very tightly and then brushed out and styled to give it volume and movement, so that the wavy strands would shoot upward or stretch to the sides without any restraints.

Several techniques were key to creating this etherea airy look. First, Gray created small buns all over the head and carefully hid them with the more voluminous strands. This created an irregular surface texture and helped to make the hair appear as if it were floating. The front of the hair, meanwhile, was softened a bit, so that these tender waves flowed back into the larger, fluffier mass of curly strands.

To create the look, Gray started by brushing the hair and, starting at the nape of the neck, curling irregular sections of hair in random directions, alternating between a 3/8″ barrel curling iron and a 1/2″ barrel curling iron, twisting the hair in as many directions as possible to create a slightly chaotic, fluffy texture. He then pinned each curl through its center using bobby pins so as to retain the shape created and make it coil and spring when release.

Along the front of the head, meanwhile, Gray separated three or four sections of hair and used a curling iron with a 3/4″ barrel to create barrel curls that moved toward the back of the head. Once the curls were complete, Gray sprayed the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong all over the head and, using the Moroccanoil Ionic Ceramic Hairdryer with the diffuser sock attachment, he heat set them. Five minutes later, they were ready to be released.

To ensure the look would have the desired longevity for those models with thinner strands prone to going limp, he created small bun sections all over the head, which he would later cover with bushier sections of hair.

Next, he unpinned the curls and, starting at the back of the head, brushed them out. To add even more volume, he loosely backcombed random sections of hair, spraying them with the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong once the desired shape had been created, and applying heat via the hairdryer to set the look.

To finish the more subdued wave at the front and top of the head, Gray combed and smoothed the hair, forming an undulating shape with his fingers. Next, he again spritzed on the Moroccanoil hair spray and then laid the hair down, blending it with the moe voluminous, more tightly curled strands along the rest of the head. To give the look hold, he again sprayed the whole head with hairspray.

The final effect had a Diana Ross-meets-Erykah Badu quality that was soft yet dramatic.

Check out more photos after the jump!


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