Guido Palau

Guido Palau is one of fashion’s most influential hairstylists. His work spans over two decades, elevating hair as a definitive beauty statement. Palau was a major force in developing the dirty grunge look in the 1990s, and his vision can be credited to pivotal hair trends and styles since, seen on runways and in magazine editorials and ad campaigns. His work achieves a narrative expression imbued with gesture and mood, whether subtle and classic or dark and confrontational. Palau is deeply imaginative, drawing inspiration from history, art, music, and street style. He interprets and distorts these ideas, yielding iconic images that often challenge accepted notions of contemporary beauty. In this way, he consistently pushes the field, and our eye, forward. His recent book, Hair (2014), is evidence of this. Shot by renowned photographer David Sims (a longstanding collaborator), the images in the book present hair’s artifice—tightly wrought, sculpted, and formed—as an abstracted point of view about the medium’s possibilities. Here, hair provides social commentary. With it, Palau contrasts historicism and futurism, mixes androgyny and ambiguity, and evokes melancholy and beauty to examine hair’s unnatural construction.

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