Neon Bobs and Bowl Cuts! 9 Models Debut Extreme Hair Transformations at Marc Jacobs


“Being a colorist for 25 years, I have to say—this is the high point of my career,” beamed Josh Wood backstage at Marc Jacobs. At tonight’s show, the designer sent models down the runway festooned in oversize flattop hats, with the exception of nine girls who received sharp cuts and jewel tone color combinations so extreme, they rendered them strikingly unrecognizable. “It’s real hair,” he explained. “Not wigs. Not hairpieces. We needed the girls to own it.”

Each metamorphosis began with an architectural blunt chop at the hands of hairstylist Guido Palau, who was inspired by the legendary Vidal Sassoon and his ’60s-defining crops. “Back then, hair wasn’t supposed to look ‘I did it myself,’ it was supposed to look done,” he explained in between strokes of his Denman brush, which he used to bevel the ends of each style to polished effect. “These geometric shapes are like an accessory in and of themselves.” But as directional as each style was, from the asymmetrical bobs to the curvilinear bowl cuts, Palau credited Wood’s color for catapulting the coifs to a new subversive level.

After working closely with Jacobs to match each model’s hair color to the fabric of her runway look—stripes of deep purple and fuchsia play off a two-toned knit wrap dress, ombré shades of neon green enhance a billowing gilded gown—Wood began bleaching each girls lengths days earlier with the help of Redken’s Flash Lift Lightener. Once blanched, he’d dye it dark, then use a custom cocktail of City Beats and Color Gel Lacquers to create a bespoke, high-octane shade. “In some cases it took six processes,” admitted Wood of the ’80s-anchored color spectrum. As for the mesmerizing effects that mimicked strobe lights overhead, he credits the Sassoon training of his early career for his painterly, yet precise execution. “It was about the geometry of color and using depth of field to create pops that emphasize [each] severe cut,” he said. “Nightclub hues lend themselves well to skillfully crafted styles. It wouldn’t work if these styles were mid-length and tonged. It would lose the drama.”

Of all the transformations, Wood considered that of Russian model Nika Cole the most drastic. Prior to the show, the Russian beauty’s natural red waves hit right above the chest. After? She had an onyx mushroom cut with a prismatic wash of cobalt blue. “I will definitely keep this cut for the season,” said Cole, her icy gaze glinting against her new statement hair. As much a part of the collection’s story as the sharp hats and extravagant neck flourishes, if any designer knows how to make a head-to-toe color statement, it’s Marc Jacobs.

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