Every season, Louise Gray’s inventive, colourful, collaged collection is both complemented and exaggerated by eye-popping headgear. For Autumn Winter 2011 there were black and yellow balloon creations, for Spring and Summer 2012 there were colourful ragga girl do-rags and for her latest show, quite hair-raising head pieces crafted out of . . . hair! How brilliant.
The man responsible for these concoctions is London milliner and artiste, Nasir Mazhar. He has his own collections, stocked around the world, (you can pick yourself up one of his fun pieces from shop.ra13.be.com right now) but it’s his show pieces that he creates for other people’s catwalk shows that really stay in the mind. He also had a mini show of his eponymous label in the TOPSHOP show venue, featuring his headwear and cute beaded handbags (below).
We caught up with him for a 5 minute natter backstage at Louise’s show at London Fashion Week.
Grazia Daily: Hello Nasir, how are you?
Nasir Mazhar: Well. I’m tired but it’s going well.
GD: We couldn’t help but marvel at the amazing hair hats in the show – how do you and Louise decide what you are going to go for? Is it a long process of collaboration?
NM: No, it was quite easy to come up with ideas because Louise already had quite a firm vision of the concept when she came to me. Her big thing was wanting old-skool punk hairdos, and then I interpreted that into what you see now.
GD: What did you do get inspiration for the actual pieces? Did you watch ‘80’s films? Listen to a certain type of pop music?
NM: No feature films, but we went on youtube and watched footage of punks of various types.
GD: Was it quite difficult, logistically to make those giant mohawks? How did you get them to stay upright?
NM: Ha ha! Not easy, we were fighting against gravity! Luckily for me, we have a brilliant hair team, so we worked together and in the end they stay up nicely.
GD: So you’re not going to give away your trade secrets then. Is it difficult to store them and transport them around London? [while we are speaking some helpers backstage are packing one of the largest into a box the size of a mattress]
NM: As you can see, you just need a big box! It’s not a problem.
GD: Which other designers are you working with this season?
NM: Meadham Kirchhoff and a new menswear designer called Lee Roach.
GD: Ooh! We can’t wait for those then! Who else would you like to work with, if you could choose any designer in the world?
NM: [Scratches his head] Errr . . . Gaulltier? That would be good.
Are you reading this, Jean Paul Gaultier? Get in touch, why doncha?