We all know that Nicholas French is incredibly accomplished, clever and creative. A snippet from his bio just touches on his expertise: “Nicholas French has produced more than 2,000 shows and seminars in over 25 countries. His editorial experiences stretch from Vogue to the 1st cover of Cosmopolitan. He has expanded his experience to print, video and even motion pictures working with top film directors such as Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Adrien Lyne.”
Well that talent was recently on display at the famed Miami Boutique of Emilio Pucci in the historic Design District of the city. “I had the opportunity to create iconic 60’s inspired hairstyles to coincide with Miami's Art Basel Fair,” French says. The one-of-a-kind installation was vibrant from head to toe, featuring the Resort 2019 collection accented with modern interpretations of iconic Pucci hairstyles created by French. The complete look, known as the "Pucci Total Look," is a creative vision invented by Pucci in the 1960s who believed that the finishing touch to a look was a hairstyle equally as inspiring as the designer’s prints. At that time, Pucci hairdos were envisioned in collaboration with Italian hair stylist Alba who produced some of the most iconic Pucci editorials together with photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri for Vogue Italia.
For this modern installation, the Emilio Pucci Team searched for an inspired hair artist and decided French was the perfect choice for this new display. “I received an email from the Emilio Pucci Heritage Team saying that they were huge fans of my work and would like to initiate a collaboration ,” French says, “The hair was always a great part of the Emilio Pucci DNA so this was a great honor.” According to the press release about the collection, Emilio Pucci selected French because of his fearless and innovative approach to hairstyling.
Fearless and innovative are two great words to describe French’s work. Known for his powerful and colourful finishes that defy gravity, French has been nominated 11 times in several NAHA categories - winning four times in Avant Garde (2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.) For French, this opportunity was exciting. “My goal was to create head pieces for the mannequins that reflect a modern version of the original 60’s creations by Alba.”
As with all of his designs, French took this quite seriously. He created story boards, studied past styles and then parked himself in his design basement for several days to create the silhouettes, all constructed from human hair wefts. He then took another week to install the pieces on the mannequins. “Everything had to be held with industrial Velcro,” French says. “The challenge was to recreate that 60’s vibe without looking dated. We introduced a lot of color to make it modern. I used Matrix SoColor Cult on all of the hair. It was the perfect choice to create the bright and fun result.”
The Pucci installation (enhanced by the stunning French hair art) was quite the success and a highlight of the Art Basel premiere art fair. For French, there were additional honors. One of his prep sketches was used for the invitations to the opening, another for the souvenir card, and WWD used another to celebrate the collection in their own fashion review.
Hair created and designed by: Nicholas French (assisted by Pati Rodriguez)
Hair supplied by: HairUWear and Raquel Welch hair products
Hair color: SoColor Cult by Matrix