Fashion writer Philippe Pourhashemi has interviewed Charlie le Mindu for us and is also giving his analytical view of his designs. Enjoy the review below!
Charlie Le Mindu AW10
There is always an obsessive streak amongst the best designers and Charlie Le Mindu is no exception to the rule. The 23-year-old Frenchman is dedicated to hair and his passion is contagious.
Born in the rather conservative town of Bordeaux, Le Mindu was into hair from a very early age and has fond childhood memories of his favourite subject: “I’m not very hairy and I always liked hair! I was chasing hairy boys at school, but quickly understood they were far too young to have any. When I was 3, I was wearing wigs around the house and my mum instantly knew I was going to be a hairdresser. Bordeaux is fun, but, like a lot of French cities, it needs to be more open.”
Charlie also experimented on Barbie dolls which, to this day, remain a source of inspiration in his work: “I remember dipping them in the swimming pool all winter and their hair turned green in the summer. I loved shaving them, too, because they looked like lesbians!”
His creations always tread a fine line between beauty and fashion. Le Mindu is keen on reviving wigs as a symbol of style and fashion, taking away the negative connotations they have often been associated with: “Wigs were treated as accessories then and now only cancer patients wear them. I just want to make wigs fun again! They used to stand for luxury and style. And I’m sure it’s going to happen once more.”
Le Mindu’s wigs are so elaborate and sophisticated that they often take weeks to make. They are made of natural hair and are often fragile and delicate. I first came across his work at the Black exhibition in Antwerp and was amazed by his sense of volume and great technique. He will take the craziest idea and turn it into something dark, beautiful and elegant.
London has become his home, after leaving Berlin two years ago, and he has found the right city to live and work: “It was really the fashion side of things that brought me here in the first place. When I first came to London, everything was so beautiful and there was so much colour everywhere! It was very cool moving here and I don’t hate anything, apart from the weather.”
I think we’re all craving unique voices in fashion right now and Charlie has a specific point of view which he keeps on refining and exploring. He has gained a real following in the industry and worked with countless celebrities, including Peaches and Lady Gaga. His last collection tackled the controversial themes of religion and death, showing the obvious link between faith and sexuality. It was a powerful and inspiring show, where Charlie’s honesty came to the fore. In fact, there is nothing the man hates more than fake: “I just like real things. I’m not into fake at all! I love fur, I love real hair and real people. I also think synthetic hair makes things look cheap.”
Of course, Charlie would not be Charlie without his exhilarating sense of humour. Open up his website page and you will get a glance into his hilarious world, where fantasy and wit finally come to life. He may be French, but British irony has found a new friend. When asked to describe his own style, his answer is unequivocal: “Gypsy full of Botox. This is my style!”
words by Philippe Pourhashemi