The 23 year old French born, hairdresser and designer Charlie Le Mindu already has an extraordinary clientele among which are some of the greatest performers of our times such as Grace Jones, Diamanda Gallas and Lady Gaga. In Berlin he turned parties into avant-garde performances by transforming the dancing club kids and during London Fashion Week he presented a series of ‘irrational’ wigs. Charlie Le Mindu takes part at Art Athina exhibition, invited by ATOPOS cultural organisation, and his goal is to impress us with erotic modern monsters created by real human hair.
-What is a ‘Pop up Salon’? Can you tell us about your wild nights in Berlin when you used to bring scissors and combs in clubs?
Α pop up Salon is about being spontaneous! The idea for Berlin’s pop up salon came to me simply because I was sleeping during the day. Berlin is beautiful but at daytime there is not much to do apart from sleeping. I would start at 11pm and finish styling at 5 am, doing about 20 heads a night. It was so cool almost like a John Water movie. I started in a darkroom, where I met Peaches, but the concept soon became so big that clubs started giving me a room to myself to do hair.
-How much time do you spend preparing a wig?
It really depends. It can go from ten minutes to six months but for a catwalk showpiece, around two weeks for each. Small wigs are easy to prepare and lots of old rich ladies want them to look glamorous. The big ones are more suitable for museums.
-Tell us about the ‘Atopic Bodies [One]: Mr & Mrs Myth, Aka The Myths’ performance at Art Athina exhibition?
It is a big surprise! I will be doing two live shows and creating a completely new piece of work. Everyone at Art Athina will be able to see me creating the work.
-What kind of ‘characters’ do you wish to create with your wigs?
I think models wearing my wigs look like sensual monsters. I can make them look like freaks but at the same time try to maintain their femininity. For me someone weird is sexy.
-We watched your show in London in a packed venue under the sounds of religious music and of maniacal laughs, tell us about your Autumn-Winter 2010 Collection which is much darker than the one you are presenting in Athens.
The name of the collection was ‘RELIGION SEX BULLSHIT LUCIFER’. I wanted to show that religion can be very dirty, people are ex-ploited by religion. This is the reason why the collection is dark, resembling a cult.
HOW MUCH SPACE IS THERE FOR CREATIVE EXAGGERATION IN THE CURRENT GLOOMY ECONOMIC CLIMATE?
I think people should go crazy with their ideas because in this climate, we want to be removed from everyday life and be taken some-where else. Going commercial with work right now doesn’t seem to be the wise choice. Nowadays when you go to a catwalk show, or any kind of show, you want to be impressed not caring if you can buy the stuff or not.
-What is your relationship with the rest of the young London based designers?
I think London is blooming with creative talent, we are a rather good team at the moment.
-Give me five reasons why a girl may want to wear one of your wigs.
Because they are dirty / Because they like hair / Because they want to feel sexy. / Because they can hide / Because they look unique.