Dystopian and technical, hair designer Charlie le Mindu proves how versatile a mane can be

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Now working across the board, Charlie’s recent work has seen him create various pieces for runways and editorials. This includes a latex mask, titled Belle Head – one that’s been instilled with a wacky sense of rebellion and a subtle tease of sci-fi. Elsewhere, there’s the infamous hair costumes for a performance piece held at the Staatsballett Berlin. Choreographed by Alexander Ekman – the Swedish ballet dancer and choreographer known internationally for his pieces in theatres, opera houses and museums – the result is a spellbinding performance where hair decorates the dancers’ legs and for others it covers their entire bodies. It’s a project that proves how diverse the notion of hair can be, where its free-flowing movement can be utilised in a performative and entertaining manner.

As for his inspirations, Charlie explains that it’s his friends who can give the best advice, or “bad constructive critics”, as he calls them, continuing to refer to them as those “that will make [him] stronger”. His day tends to begin around 7am where he sits down to go through his emails, making sure that there’s a sufficient amount of loud music as his soundtrack, before dancing in the shower. “I usually do one thing at a time,” he explains of his process, “then I draw a lot, depending on the project that I’m working on. What I love is that all my days are different. From studio wig making to travelling on the road with celebs, photoshoots – it’s always fun.” Most imperative is that he toys around with a mixture of fabrics, making sure to experiment with techniques and uses, a method that allows him “to renew” himself and the work that he produces.

This experimental approach can be seen in one of his latest projects for the NHILS fashion show, exhibited in New York Fashion Week. “I had to prepare a hair pancake and create something light and graphic,” he explains, “using an iron, baking paper, hairspray and the Anti Collective product that I love.” An additional instalment sees Charlie decorate a model’s chest for fashion label Art School London, where ‘school’ has been combed and twisted into his hairy front. Further pieces include a dystopian campaign for Camper, shot my Romain Kremer and with makeup by Isamaya Ffrench. Here, the futuristic shiny-faced models are lavished in colour and no single hair is out of place. In short, his otherworldly portfolio is like something pulled from the future.

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