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Lindsey Mollenhauer’s 2019 Avant-Garde NAHA Finalist Collection proves that hair is art! With absolutely gorgeous structures, Lindsey Mollenhauer draws on the Rococo movement of France and puts a modern spin on it. Taking the drama of their wigs at the time and blending it with a hip-hop finish! Keep reading to see the stunning inspiration behind Lindsey’s collection and hear more about her as an artist!

What was the inspiration behind this collection?

I developed an obsession with the similarities between two dramatically different fashion statements; the behemoth wigs of the Rococo era in France, and hip-hop. They share a common sentiment, which is audaciousness. Historical relevance aside, the most obvious contrast is that one is meant to be pretty and the other a rebel. The tension and harmony between the two filled my dreams. I dreamt of impossibly boxy wigs for the French mademoiselle, dressed in the inflated garbage bag costume in Missy Elliot’s music video “I Can’t Stand The Rain”. I saw brash colors and a lot of attitudes. 

What did you learn about yourself through creating this collection?

Through creating this collection, I learned that I must trust my wild instincts and trust them completely. The conventional wisdom is no friend to the Avant-Garde. The fear of looking foolish, the fear of not bringing out the best in your team, or coming across as a tyrant can stifle the inner voice of the artist. I learned that I had to communicate my vision frequently, with passion, and believe in it so much that it felt obtainable to not only me but my team as well. 

What was your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was deciding on the internal angles of the wigs. I got lost in the hair a couple of times and had to stand far away and just stare at the menagerie and just think. 

What other forms of art inspire you?

Lately, I’ve been inspired by minimalist artists like Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Robert Irwin. You can definitely see Dan Flavin in the color pallet for this collection. Considering art as a way of thinking about humanity and creating art as a harmonious extension of nature and structure are concepts brought to the top of mind by these artists and present while creating this collection. 

How much prep time went into each piece?

The prep time for each piece was about 5 hours, per. 

What was your favorite part of this shoot?

My favorite part about the shoot was carving the forms with clippers. It was cathartic to treat 
the hair as a medium more akin to stone than fabric. Hair transforms itself into the unexpected
but then becomes predictable again and makes one feel very powerful. 

How did you select your team? Have you worked with them before?

I typically work with the same photographer, models, and makeup artist. We all know each
other and work well together. We’re all NAHA geeks! It was a very close-knit set, which is how I like it. Trust is an important ingredient in group art projects.

Where will we find you in Long Beach?!
You will find me in Long Beach at the bar, of course! I will be toasting to the winners and my 
friends. I will also be very interested in viewing certain vendors at the trade show. I have a couple of design ideas up my sleeve that will solve problems for stylists and am eager to see how they would fit into the beauty shows. 

What are you looking forward to most about NAHA 2019?!

I am looking forward to the Red Carpet Reception at NAHA 2019. It will be fun to share my 
passion with a huge audience, granted by the media sources that will be there. 

Stay tuned to see even more NAHA Finalists Collections! 

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