From the backstage buzz amid blow dryers and brightly coloured threads to the serene, spike-sponsored strut down the runway, Chet Lo’s invitation into the welding worlds of futuristic fashion, hair and beauty captured the watchful audience with not a single thread — or strand — going unmissed.
Having created a vibrant offering of wearable art pieces, the SS24 Show at the Old Selfridges Hotel met and exceeded my expectations. Held in a space that’s been used to commemorate some of the most innovative brands around the world, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Chet Lo would make a fitting addition to that list. Vibe-y oonts oonts music, dim red lighting and the eager murmurs of the audience filled the room in anticipation of the latest designs to take centre stage. And then it happened. The lights came on and 100-and-something voices gasped at the awe-inspiring debut of this emotive collection, adorned with hairstylist Anna Cofone’s creations.
Perched proudly in a front row seat alongside journalists, fashion enthusiasts and celeb faces, I bared witness to ground-breaking art in motion. Elegant and poised, the first model took to the runway with fierce, siren-like strides to showcase the angelic opening look.
Closing with a roaring applause, I headed into the backstage bustle to catch up with Anna Cofone for an insight into how she married the timeless glamour of Oribe with the fresh, modernistic feel of Chet Lo…
Behind the scenes with Anna Cofone
Cult Beauty: Firstly, the models look incredible! The intersectionalities between hair, beauty, fashion and culture never fail to amaze us. Can we ask what inspires you most about the overlap between hair and fashion?
Anna Cofone: What inspires me most about the overlap is that you can create [a] story and a character. Whenever I’m doing a test and working with a designer I always ask, ‘who are they? What is their story when they hit the runway?’ Chet was really specific about his story for his collection; it was very much inspired by his upbringing and about him not really finding a sense of who he was from an early age and that repression brought about by societal expectations. We spoke about how we would like to convey this struggle for power by binding the models’ braids in irregular shapes and curves, each more elaborate than the last. I’d say bringing this character to life and being entrusted with that vision time and time again is what inspires me most.
CB: We noticed an array of Oribe products in every styling station. If you had to pick, which standout staple would you take backstage with you for every fashion show and why?
AC: The Dry Texturizing Spray and Swept Up are my favourites because they can take you from super clean, straight hair to something really structural if you need to do it in the quickest amount of time possible. The hero products for this look were a combination of Rock Hard Gel Serum and Superfine Strong.
CB: If you had to give one hairstyling tip, what would it be?
AC: Brush your hair with two masons — two flat brushes — to boost circulation to the scalp. This is also great for amplifying hair volume from the root.
CB: How do Oribe’s formulas support your styling visions?
AC: What I love about Oribe products is that they perform. Whatever you need them to do, they do! For example, the Royal Blowout Spray is phenomenal at creating super glass straight hair. You don’t need to use a lot of the product because it consistently delivers. With session work, things need to happen very quickly and as you saw today, under a lot of pressure most of the time, you need products that will get the job done to the highest standard in as little time as possible. Oribe is extremely effective.