In recent years hair styling has seen an incredible evolution in the fashion industry. At the same time a fundamental element of personal identity and a social marker imbued with aesthetics and often political values, its surge in the fashion system has allowed creatives to dismantle preconceived notions of beauty. Taking the center of the stage in editorials, runways and street style, it has become a canvas for personal expression and collective experimentation.
The advent of the digital realm has brought considerable changes to the world of hair styling: trends spreading and subcultures resurfacing thanks to social media, online tutorials and DIY culture or 3D printing allowing for the creation of custom hair accessories and even hairpieces tailored to individual’s preference are only some of the elements introduced by the digital world.
Expanding and reshaping our notion of beauty, the five Hairstylists we are presenting today play a major role in a fast-paced and constantly evolving fashion industry.
Known for a prolific imagination culminating in creations that are at the same time geometric and surreal, Eda Lee is a makeup artist, hairdresser and art director based between Shanghai and Guangzhou. With an endless list of editorials and collaborations under the belt, Eda is one of the leading creators in today’s fashion scene. Originally reinterpreting styles coming from youth subcultures and inspired by videogames and surreal imagery, Eda Lee has recently started co-creating with AI in a series of mind-bending portraits showcasing gravity-defying hairstyles that remind us of the almost endless possibilities opened up by the digital world. Lee shows how in the near future the physical and the digital will not only interact but will be fully integrated.
Of all the hairstylists showcased today, Yuho Kamo is the most singular one. Often involved in digital-focused projects, Yuho’s hairstyling is a way to deviate, distort and disrupt beauty standards that still dominate across all platforms. In what, in this sense, can be called an anti-hegemonic creative enterprise, punk and grotesque are great influences both as a general attitude and in the looks created. Taking inspiration from horror and thriller movies, Yuho Kamo is not afraid to deal with “bad taste” by mixing it with counter-cultural references: in his debut zine HAIRMASTER, distorted portraits and disturbing CGI enhance the anti-beauty stance of the author who is committed to only using synthetic hair as an antidote to the constraining standards of the contemporary fashion landscape.
Represented by Streeters, one of the industry-leading agencies, Matt Mulhall is a steady force in the fashion industry boasting collaborations with top-tier magazines and curating every year some of the most important fashion shows such as Hermes or Paul Smith. Beauty editor at Fantastic Man, his style can be defined as minimalistic and yet experimental, combining historical reference with a fresh take on masculinity which he is helping redefine by moving it away from its rigid and suffocating codes.
Also, Matt has been experimenting with AI, creating a series in collaboration with Carmel Dione Reeves where youth cultures are explored not by delving into the past but rather by projecting them into the future.
If we normally think of the head as that mysterious place from which ideas magically emanate, Janina Zais is living proof that the head can also act as the physical support for radical statements. Treating it as a canvas on which she impresses popping imagery full of popular culture references, Janina always displays a bold aesthetic with a knack for colors.
She treats the head as a sort of poster where both political statements and creative concepts (often with a funny twist) can find their place. Loud, honest and heavily influenced by images circulating in the digital sphere, her style challenges what we usually expect from hairstyling.
Having collaborated with incredible talents such as Yves Tumor, Caroline Polachek and the never-forgotten Sophie, Fitch Lunar has become an essential part of popular culture. Messiness and imperfection constitute central elements of his creations, thus allowing a more inclusive approach to beauty. His creations present a sculptural design that pushes the boundaries of what we imagine possible in hairstyling. He also experiments with textures and materials (such as resin wigs) proving once again that beauty can be found everywhere.