Even though our normal lives have been on hiatus for almost two years, the creativity never stops, especially when you’re legendary hairstylist Guido Palau. When the photo shoots, runway shows, feature articles and ad campaigns slowed down because of COVID, he didn’t. Instead, he grabbed his styling tools and his phone, and shot what would become his latest book, #HairTests.
Available this Saturday at Dover Street Market in New York, London, Tokyo and LA, this limited edition book is packed with breathtaking hair inspiration created by Palau on models using his iPhone. “I wouldn’t have made this book without Instagram. And without the iPhone, I wouldn’t have gotten this book,” says Palau BAZAAR.com. While he doesn’t consider himself a photographer, Palau has spent years Instagramming incredible BTS portraits of his hair creations backstage at shows like Valentino, Fendi, Versace and Marc Jacobs. While some of the images in the book are from recent runway looks, most are just pure Palau play.
“It’s almost like being an artist or a ceramist, you’d go to your studio and just scribble and play. But their work lives on forever – a haircut lives for the time the wearer wears it, and then you’re just one jet of water from disappearing,” he says. “So capturing it on the iPhone was my way of cataloging my work.”
Palau’s storied career spans decades, not only because of his pure talent and artistic eye, but also because he constantly seeks new sources of inspiration in the everyday world. “I think all my inspiration comes mainly from keeping my eyes open and paying attention to the street. You know, I have a great head that can catalog things,” he says, referring to the single crystal bobby pin he saw in my hair through Zoom . “For me, I think that’s one of my strengths. Everyone’s hair is kind of part of that catalog.” That’s why even the most simplistic Palau style, say a smooth blunt bob or textured shag, looks like a revelation through its lens.
As you flip through this new book of creations — thick layers, graphic ponytails, and electric tones on models of relative anonymity — Palau hopes you’ll be struck with a sense of fantasy and escapism, if only for a moment. “When I started hairdressing, in the salons of those master shots of different styles on models. You still see these today when you walk past salon windows, especially in small towns. This book has that kind of feeling, I think,” he say. “But things like that were ingrained in me very early on when I was an intern – looking at all the pictures on the wall would make me kind of daydream about the people in the images. I hope people can tell or fantasize about them.” people too.”
Palau organizes a book signing for #HairTests on Saturday, December 4 at Dover Street Market in New York City from 4:30 to 5:30. pm There are only 1,000 copies of this book available worldwide, so hurry to get your copy this weekend before the busy holiday season.
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