Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.
But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religion-inspired collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.
Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).
I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one fashion week’s attendees wait for with immense anticipation.
Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr
Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.
What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.
What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!
Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.
A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!
How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!
You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.
Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.
What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu
- London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Katie)
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Matt)
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Amelia)