From the rhythmic dance beat of the soundtrack to the slinky, shimmery gowns electrifying the catwalk, everything about Reem Acra’s stunning Spring 2014 collection evoked the glittering disco era of the ‘70s, all brought up to the minute by this iconic fashion designer’s artistry and mastery of technique. All the signature disco details were there—halter and plunging necklines, slit skirts, gleaming metallic finishes—all given a modern edge with statements such as cut-outs to bare a svelte midriff, floaty dresses in bold oversize houndstooth checks and sheer bouffant skirts of embroidered tulle. And then there was the show-stopping hair designed by visionary hair stylist Didier Malige of Art Partner.
Ethereal clouds of voluminous curls framing the face like a gorgeous halo were every bit as dramatic as the dazzling collection Reem Acra sent down the runway. “I love everything Didier does,” said Reem Acra. “I love frizzy hair. My hair is frizzy so I like that attitude. I wanted volume because the dresses were sheer and there are flowy layers so I wanted to combine the volumes together.” Referring to his collaboration with Reem Acra, Didier remarked, “The inspiration for the hair was Studio 54.” This, of course, was the Studio 54 of the late ‘70s, when it was the epicenter of glamour for such charismatic style influencers as Marisa Berenson, Bianca Jagger and Jerry Hall. In sync with Didier’s air-spun hair was the alluring makeup look worthy of dancing under a mirrored disco ball—a shiny nude lip and subtle cat’s eye makeup in peachy metallic bronze shadows.
To whip up this elegantly frothy hair look, Didier used products by René Furterer. Along with his go-to René Furterer products, Didier also had an assortment of hair extensions at the ready. While many of the models already had long tresses, the extensions provided the extra length to fill out the width of the finished look. “We need the extra length because it makes the hair more spectacular,” said Didier. “More theatrical.” Here is how Didier worked his magic to transform even the straightest hair into a romantic swirl of light-as-air curls.
Start on clean, dry hair and make a classic center part, which was pivotal to the memorable looks of the ‘70s. The extensions were attached in back, starting at mid-ear, to give hair the extra length it needs. To prep the hair and maximize fullness, spray on René Furterer VOLUMEA volumizing conditioning spray no rinse.
Next, skinny sections of hair are set using Japanese straight pins. The technique is simple. Slip a section through the open pin and then weave it back and forth in a figure-8 pattern around the prongs of the pin. It’s a bit like knitting. Then gently twist the ends of the pin together to hold the twisted pin-curl in place. We start this “set” about 1 1/2 to 2 inches from the center part because we want the hair at the crown to be smooth while the rest of the hair will be frizzed out.
After a section is twisted and pinned, lift the section by the end of the pin, place it between the plates of a flat iron, then clamp the plates together and hold it in place for a few seconds to seal in the heat, which locks in the curl. The pinning and flat-ironing steps are repeated until all the hair is set. Because so many sections have to be set this way, we need as many as four or five hair stylists at a time to style each model.
Once all flat-ironed sections are cooled, gently undo the pins and the hair is released into springy spirals of curls. Next, brush and proceed to fluff out and feather the curl by brushing it out so that the frizzed-out curls literally float in the air. Because we want to keep the look airy and not stiff, we finish the look with finishing spray for flexible hold that leaves hair easy to brush out and allows the beautiful movement we want.
For more information on René Furterer, visit www.renefurterer.com.