Q&A with international hair stylist Guido Palau

Guido Palau

Guido Palau

In his trend-driving international career, hair stylist Guido Palau works with a hot list of who’s-who in fashion.

He’s one of the world’s most in-demand hair stylists who works internationally on Fashion Week runway shows with designers such as Alexander Wang and Dolce & Gabbana. The Brit is considered one of the major drivers of the 90s grunge movement and continues to shape how we look. We spoke to Redken’s global creative director, Guido Palau, about his career, styling inspiration and working with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Kate Moss.

What’s it like working in the fashion capitals for Fashion Week each season and how does it influence your work?
There’s no way to prepare for the mayhem of Fashion Week. It’s like a whirlwind and when it hits there’s little time for anything else. I find inspiration absolutely everywhere from walking down the street to looking at architectural designs to sub cultures and music. The good thing is when you travel as much as I do you get inspiration from many different countries. It evolves from something we’ve seen in the past into something new. I’m always looking for what’s next.

How many shows do you do each season?
Typically, I do around 30 shows between New York, London, Paris and Milan. Backstage at Fashion Week there is always a mix of excitement, tension, adrenaline, time restraints, directing and inspiring teams of people, and a lack of sleep. Fashion Week is exhausting, but it also motivates and inspires me each season. I’m always trying to create new techniques with the help of products and forward thinking.

How do you collaborate with designers?
A show is a collaboration between all parties. First, it’s all about the clothes and understanding the kind of woman and character the designer imagines and the message portrayed through the clothes. There’s always a story and, most importantly, where she’s from. It’s important for me to understand all the details to create the perfect look for this woman.

Guido created the hair looks worn by Ine Neefs and Julie Hoomans for Prada SS16

Guido created the hair looks worn by Ine Neefs and Julie Hoomans for Prada SS16


Why was working with McQueen so seminal for you?
I was privileged to work with Alexander McQueen for years and he challenged my perception of beauty and pushed my boundaries. It was a very exciting work relationship.

What’s it like to drive worldwide trends?
It’s amazing to see my looks become popular. The Alexander Wang side braid from S/S 2010 is a trend I especially remember.

What was your first show?
It was for Calvin Klein in 1994 and the grunge period with Kate Moss – very undone. At the time it was a very new aesthetic in hair.

What are your career milestones?
Working with George Michael, the MET, Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibit, and collaborating with Steven Meisel and David Sims. David and I are close and have worked together for many years. I find him very inspiring. My most important shoot was for Versace with Kate Moss years ago – it took my career to the next level.

Photos: Getty Images and Supplied