“Failure is prohibited”
currentMood: How important is hair when it comes to defining beauty?
Nicolas Jurnjack: It’s a symbol of femininity – glamorous, sexy, classy, chic, shiny, glossy, eccentric, colourful, short or long.
However you wear it, it’s your crowning glory. Hair has the ability to enhance and define the beauty of a face or do just the opposite if it falls into the wrong hands. The right hairstyle will bring out beauty and character in everyone.
NJ: Hair and makeup complement each other. Although hair is infinitely more variable, a malleable base unlike the face. It can be straight, curly, wavy, bouffant, in a classical chignon, braids, ponytails…in any and every colour. The variations are as endless as your imagination. People always notice hair first, even when slicked back flat against the scalp, but then a brilliant shine or prominently created comb-lines in the hair will speak volumes.
cM: What do you love most about your job?
NJ: I think the creative industry contributes to the wellbeing of humanity.
NJ: In 1994 I was selected to present six original hairstyles at the Louvre, which was going to be on display for two months. I was in my twenties at that time and it was a dream come true! I was so nervous and excited at the same time because it was bigger than anything I’d ever done before you know, like for magazines. The audience was going to be bigger and not just restricted to fashion aficionados. I started to panic. So I went to the Louvre and found myself wandering from gallery to gallery, waiting for inspiration to hit me. But somehow I couldn’t relax, the place was crowded and I still got nothing! I told myself to forget everything I’d learnt so far and start from scratch and create something memorable. And eureka! The word ‘organic’ dawned upon me. I decided to come up with a hairstyle made entirely out of paper.Which turned out to be quite challenging – the technique used would have to ensure that the hairstyle would come to life and not fall apart.
At the same time, I had the opportunity to work with Olga Pantuschenkova, Russia’s first supermodel. And the greatest honour was working with Jean-Loup Sieff, a legendary photographer with whom ELLE France did a six page feature of us working behind the scenes. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience. Despite juggling other work and the pressure of working on my own exhibit, the show at the Louvre turned out to be a success and it helped give me the confidence to follow my instincts and believe win myself. I will always be grateful that I was selected for the project. I learnt so much from it..humility, generosity, teamwork, confidence, the power of creativity and instinct. It helped shape my approach to my entire career.
McQueen said, “It will be tough London, my London, not the posh Bentley one..what do you think?”
NJ: Ah! The 90s were the golden years, when people waited for months in anticipation to see a fashion show. Back then fashion shows were great and glorious, a celebration of creativity and women. When Alexander McQueen and I spoke a few times, he briefed me on what his vision was, told me the name of the show, It’s a jungle out there – that a car would be set ablaze, there would be no chairs, people would have to sit on the floor, give an over- all feeling of being under a dark bridge and no champagne would be served – only beer. McQueen said, “It will be tough London, my London, not the posh Bentley one..what do you think?” “A jungle! Predators? Beautiful predators. Glorious predators, wolves, tigers, leopards, hyenas, panthers. Wild, stunning, strong, sexy cats, no litter trained kitty’s here,” I replied. “Great!,” he said, “go wild, super sexy and irresistible. I want untamed, awesome glamour.” McQueen was not a “that’s good enough” person, he demanded precision and perfection from himself and from others.
My research ran across books, movies and music. I filled my mind with images of beauty and savagery, and visualised words and images that fit the brief glamour, style, savage sophistication, sexy. I made sketches and got a final approval of the looks and started working on it with my loyal team of assistants. We created fur like textured wigs, used different colours, made stencils out of paper and sprayed the hair with various patterns light brown on blondes; white, grey, blonde or copper on the brunettes. We embodied shapes of different animals via hairstyles and literally created ears with hair.What a show it was! Exhausting, exhilarating, challenging, crazy and beautiful – it was a success and well received by the fashion industry. There will be only one Alexander McQueen.
NJ: The simplest tip – don’t wash your hair everyday, once every four days is ideal. As for figuring out the perfect hairstyle, before you go ahead and change your hair colour or style, ask yourself why you’re doing it. If you feel that you’re not sure, wait it out and experiment with styles you can achieve by using clips, tongs and curlers instead. Figure out your hair’s natural texture because it has a personality of its own. Does it part on the left or right? Which direction do the cowlicks turn? The more we try and control our hair, the quicker it falls back into its natural shape, very different from what it looked like at the salon.
Last modified: January 5, 2018