The original definition of a ‘muse’ comes from Greek and Roman mythology referring to the nine goddesses, the Muses, who were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne and presided over arts and science. But today a ‘muse’ symbolises someone, usually a woman, who inspires an artist, often resulting in the muse and artist developing a strong bond and life-long friendship.
Fashion is one area where many top designers have formed a close partnership with their muse (models, celebrities and actresses), often resulting in incredible and striking collections. Some of the most memorable and enduring relationships being Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, Karl Lagerfeld and Ines de la Fressange (and in his later life, Cara Delevingne). Jean Paul Gaultier and Madonna, Jean-Louis Dumas (designer for Hermès) and Jane Birkin, Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola, and Tom Ford and Julianne Moore.
Over the years many models have inspired photographers and become famous beyond their era, influencing fashion, style, hair and many women. Each decade has its model muses including Twiggy from the ‘60s, Jerry Hall in the ‘70s, Cindy Crawford, Christie Turlington, Naomi Campbell in the ‘80s and Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss in the ‘90s. In fact, many still inspire today.
Hairdressers too have their own muses and this week, Anthony Mascolo, TIGI International Artistic Director and Akos Bodi, TIGI European Creative Director, discussed on Fuse Sessions the models that have continually inspired their work.
“A muse” says Anthony, “is someone you can connect with. There are many beautiful models, but the one who becomes your muse brings her personality into the photo shoot, gives you the permission to create the haircut and style you want to create and also gives you the confidence to push yourself to the next level.”
“When we do our model castings I often see one model in particular who I will immediately want to work with. It’s not just about her look, but something more, her character, how she walks and responds to everyone. It’s an aesthetic and develops your vision” reflects Akos.
In his career Anthony Mascolo has worked with many models, but in recent years there have been some stand-out models that have inspired him with their own creativity and expressive personalities.
Martha was the model in one of Anthony’s best-known films: Initiation, made in the early ‘00s. As an artist and model, she had the ability to see what Anthony wanted to create and could give far more to a shoot or show than many of her contemporaries.
“Martha really worked ‘with me’, understanding my vision” Anthony says. “And this was a really important element. She also had great hair with a fantastic texture.”
Akos first worked with model Toma on the 2016 Custom Blondes collection for TIGI Copyright Colour, and a year later she became the cover of the 2017 TIGI Shift Collection with her sharp silver-grey bob. Akos explains how she worked well with him, inspiring him and perfectly showing the essence of Shift. “The Shift collection was one of my proudest moments” says Akos. “Every element of the shoot is important, but the model ties it together and Toma could do this effortlessly.”
Sometimes your muse becomes every other hairdresser’s muse! This is what happened with Leksi. Anthony and Akos first met Swedish-Croatian model Leksi when they were doing a hair show in Rimini, Italy. “The exciting thing about Leksi is that she lets you go as far as you want when cutting her hair” says Anthony. “In fact she encourages you! She can easily be transformed but more than that she’s an incredibly hard-worker, really friendly and puts in a huge amount of effort that really comes out in the results. You never have to tell her what to do, she just does it. I used Leksi for a film we made for Infringe called Chelsea Girl, which we filmed on the Kings Road, Chelsea [London]. We didn’t have to direct her; she was a natural.”
“We’ve also used Leksi for other shoots and lots of shows” adds Akos, “And she was brilliant when we used her for the Alternative Hair Show. She is a natural muse.”
“Easily transformed” – Leksi was Anthony’s muse for Infringe
The model most recently associated with Anthony is Bre. The pair met at a TIGI show in the USA. Bre, from Austin, Texas is firstly a performance artist and actress and has an amazing ability to ‘perform to camera’. “Her ability to look at the camera, which she does all the time, gives me huge confidence and really pushes me” says Anthony.
On stage at a TIGI show in Las Vegas five years ago, Anthony famously gave Bre one of his most renowned looks, an Undercut. Then, he took out clippers and to the amazement of the entire audience, clippered Bre’s hair into a buzzcut. She performed perfectly! Since then Anthony has done several aggressive cuts on his muse and created films with his wife Pat for their magazine, Infringe. “Bre allows me to take that step further and it’s always lots of fun working with her” he says.
Anthony unexpectedly shaves Bre’s hair live on stage at TIGI World Release
The final word from Anthony: “A muse gives energy and excitement, you work together and she generates your confidence, allowing you to be experimental and push your creativity.”
Want to learn more about The Muse? Watch Anthony and Akos’s interview below.