The headdress is a hot current trend. Hot on the heels of a couple of high-profile public appearances at awards ceremonies – Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife and Lady Gaga, for instance- catwalks and magazine pages are profiling women with a lot going on on top.
Behind the scenes, a number of creatives have been slaving through long winter nights to give shape to visions for headgear that are far from practical; fantasy rules the day. And interestingly enough, a number of these creators of stunning headdresses don’t come from the most traditional of fashion design backgrounds.
Lady Gaga’s attention-grabbing headdress given an outing during the recent Brits awards was the work of Alex Noble. London-based Noble, though definitely known as a stylist with a distinctive London ‘street’ feel to his work is equally well-known for his distinctive fashion illustrations, often wandering into the realms of 3-D installation. Alex Noble is, of course, also one of the people deeply involved in the booming Bastard Batty Bass club nights and the eponymous record label of Hannah Holland, giving the label and the nights their individual graphic identity.
Lady Gaga also found something appealing in the work of Charlie Le Mindu. She was recently spotted out and about in one of his OTT creations. Like Alex Noble, Charlie Le Mindu did not follow the usual fashion design education. Mnsr Le Mindu, a hairdresser by profession, spent a number of years developing his particular crazy manifestations on Berlin’s underground performance art circuit. In February 2010, he sent his second collection down the catwalk during London Fashion Week. A collection of objects lying somewhere between wigs and millinery, Charlie Le Mindu’s theatrical inventions are currently hot property for stylists and those in the public eye, leading to a string of invitations to collaborate on more mainstream catwalks or to make pieces for celebs.
Fashion is, according to the folklore, cyclic. With all these top-heavy looks being offered to us, one can’t but help remember Alexander McQueen’s collections from the 1990’s accompanied by headgear created by Dai Rees. And, if the popular mythology also tells us that McQueen’s rise was linked to a defiant commitment to the fantastic and luxurious in the face of economic woes, one can’t help wondering whether there isn’t a connection to the re-emergence of the huge headdress and more recent recession.