Hair transformations for runway shows come a dime a dozen these days, as models often need to transform their tresses to align with a designer's vision. Sometimes that means slipping on a wig, but we're happy to report that, for the past couple of seasons, it has even included wearing nothing but your natural hair.
That said, we do enjoy a little razzle-dazzle this time of year (that's the point of fashion week, isn't it?), and few have defied the odds like Alexander Wang has with his use of bleached blonde hair this season—not because the look was groundbreaking, but because the speed and efficiency with which it was done was pretty much impossible.
The brains behind this amazing feat? None other than famed colorists Victoria Hunter and Larry Raspanti of the New York salon, Whittemore House. Hunter is the go-to colorist for world-renowned stylist Guido Palau—who led the hair look for Wang's show—and she and Raspanti started their salon back in 2009. The duo successfully dyed the hair of 18 models over the course of 3 days, using multiple processes for each. If you've lifted your hair even once using one of these processes, then you know how skilled you need to be to do this.
"While the mayhem of Alex's show was [approaching and we were getting] closer to the runway time," says Raspanti, "we were lightening the hair of 17 girls to the San Diego surf look that injected a bit of punk in there as well. We also did full days with clients including Anna Cleveland, Natalie Westling, Ann V., and many others."
For new models, it's an exciting shift, and a makeover of sorts. When a stylist like Palau asks you to change your hair, you do it without question, and you know it will be done right with colorists like Hunter and Raspanti. Roots were left dark, with ends going the lightest of all to really get that surfer-influenced look that's otherwise achieved only by spending tens of hours a week in the sun and the surf.
But their work didn't conclude with the runway show. "After it all, we went back to the salon around midnight and turned back the color of a handful of girls for the Victoria Beckham and Rag & Bone shows the next day," added Raspanti. "We were there until about quarter past 2 a.m." All in a day's (and night's) work for some of the best in the business.