A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIGI ALTA MODA

Akos Bodi reveals the secrets to achieving some of TIGI's most iconic avant garde hair creations.

Posted in Editorial & Avant Garde Editorial & Avant Garde |

For the TIGI Creative Team, the concept of Alta Moda is one of the most important elements of their work. It’s an aspirational, as well as inspirational, part of the brand’s DNA.

Here Akos Bodi, TIGI European Creative Director, explains why it’s important to constantly push your work creatively in order to inspire yourself and feel both satisfaction and passion for your achievements. Read on to discover the secrets behind Akos’s favourite looks.

The work and imagery we do often resemble pieces of art, just like paintings and sculptures, and is always about pushing the boundaries, while challenging the execution on every level. The harmony of each element of the work we create is paramount; this encompasses the clothes styling, makeup and hair, as well as the presentation. We have to achieve ‘flow’ to be able to appreciate the total look as one.

Alta Moda is the cherry on the cake within the shows and is a crucial part of Anthony’s and Pat’s story-telling genius. It is as important to TIGI as cutting and colouring hair and the products we use. It’s the Haute Couture of Hair, seeking to please the eye and challenge the mind.

Throughout the years we’ve done many variations of this theme, and here I’d like to share with you some of my favourite looks.

Initiation

This image was once part of an opening film that set the mood of a show. It depicts a young female’s transformation, propelled into the visual world of TIGI by a powerful raw bob haircut.

After displaying the model’s natural hair, we used a straight Tokyo wig soaked in hair gel to create the illusion of the cut. To date, this is still one of my favourites.

Gothic Chic

The concept of this look is about the balance of soft and harsh while exuding powerful femininity wrapped in a dark, mysterious silhouette.

The asymmetrical graphic shape is cut on a Japan wig, which was drenched in hairspray to get a glass-like effect. The garment is accented with metal guard plates and belts, which adds a warrior feel to the multitude of textures of the outfit.

Iris van Herpen

This outfit was created by the couturier, Iris van Herpen, one of fashion’s most forward-thinking and experimental designers. Behind this unique aesthetic and the meticulously detailed piece stands a strong and beautiful woman.

The hair becomes one with the outfit to create a continuous flow of dark but luminous fabric, complemented by a sharp graphic fringe.

McQueen

This look is from Alexander McQueen’s last collection Plato’s Atlantis (2009). This show was a milestone as it was the first live stream show that brought high fashion to the masses, which makes it even more relevant today.

Pat Mascolo’s colourful makeup brought warmth and attention to the face. We completed this look using a long, tailed Mohican shape. That was constructed from the model’s own hair and extended to create an exaggerated effect. White hairspray helped to add drama and create a synergy between the hair and the garment.

Mechanical

Kai Kagami, a London-based Japanese designer, is behind this dramatic, futuristic look. Kagami is a classically trained architect-turned-designer whose highly structured, experimental approach reflects in his collections. Geometry is prevalent within this look. The hair and makeup worked around the garment which had functional moving mechanical parts, operated by the wearer.

We layered two circular wig pieces in black and white to create a strong, yet simple contrast that would complete the look.

Raven

This is another look that has a Gothic feeling and focuses on creating contrast within textures, hiding in a monochrome background. Combining an airy, floaty and whimsical vibe with dark, ominous details is the secret of the creation of the Raven’s unique beauty.

Two black wigs were used: an asymmetrical smooth beret-like top, placed onto a heavily back-combed bottom piece.

Recycled Couture

Gary Harvey (former Creative Director for Levi Strauss) brought this collection to NYFW in 2010. The centrepiece of the line up was this look. He used 30 copies of the Financial Times newspaper, serving as a stark reminder of how recycling must become a way of our lives in our new financial climate.

To complete the look we created hard sheets of hair resembling paper, screen-printed with TIGI’s biggest headline of the period: TIGI JOINS FORCES WITH UNILEVER.

The actual image printed on the hair was the look Raven, which featured a former Bed Head Studio team member: Nigel The Cat.

Smoke Hair

From time to time hair serves as a background and carrier to the overall look, or a particular special effect. In this creation, we used small portable dry ice machines with thin plastic tubes running throughout the hair and clothes. Operated by the model, the effect was to create smoke exuding from the hair as well as the outfit.

The brushed-out curly hair wefts were the perfect foundation to let the smoke escape as the models slowly floated around the stage. The effects were stunning.

The Clown

This idea first featured in our Cirque de TIGI show in London’s Roundhouse in Camden (2010) which was a true celebration of creativity. Manish Arora, a New Delhi based designer, created this dress for his S/S 09 collection. Made of pure silk, this was a true masterpiece with animal detail sitting on a functional carousel.

The whirlwind of visual fun was complemented by a crimped geometric bob, with a graffiti effect created by Anthony to flow with the colour combinations of the dress. Pat’s makeup finished the look with a simple colour detail to remind the viewers of the clown. Pure Fun!

The Twist

The iconic Battersea Power Station gave the backdrop for this regal look. The Haute Couture piece, by the one and only Dame Vivienne Westwood, was styled by Jiv D.

The vibe is opulent and over the top, inspired by the 18th-century Rococo era, a period filled with extravagant and amazing hairstyles. We created a partial wig piece made of dozens of twisted pieces that were carefully blended to the model’s own hair. Mask-like makeup made with glitter blended seamlessly with the dress.

Westwood

Dame Vivienne Westwood had a profound influence on our collections for many years. This look is an homage to her genius and is our interpretation of the modern Westwood Punk. Combining high-fashion and ready-to-wear makes this outfit stand out, and the silhouette unique.

The hair, inspired by Vivienne’s own signature look, was set and back-combed before spray-painted bronze to emulate the fabric details.


Credits
  • Hair: TIGI Creative Team
  • Photography: Anthony Mascolo
  • Alex Barron-Hough
  • Akos Bodi
  • Roberto Aguilar
  • Ben Cook