The Wig Idea
Lady Gaga's wigmaker, Charlie Le Mindu.
“Hairstyle is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself,” Hubert de Givenchy famously said. If that’s the case, we worry about the model who walked down Charlie Le Mindu’s spring-summer 2011 runway drenched in fake blood and wearing an icy blonde wig with the word violence springing from the crown.
London-based Le Mindu is both a hairstylist and a nascent couturier. He’s also been a card-carrying member of the Haus of Gaga since 2008, outfitting the pop star in his outré wigs and custom-made human-hair dresses. “You can curl them or crimp them,” he says of the dresses, “and clean them with weekly brushing and dry shampoo.” Good to know.
In addition to Lady Gaga, Le Mindu, 24, counts musicians Peaches, Florence Welch, and Pam Hogg among his clients. But he also caters to more conventional types drawn to the high quality of his work. His wigs use almost twice as much hair as the industry standard and can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
Le Mindu credits his Roma family for putting him to work at age 13, styling hair at an “old lady salon” in southwestern France. At 15 he began to learn the art of wig crafting, and at 17 he moved to Berlin. In 2008 he arrived in London and set up shop. Before long, Gaga came calling.
Earlier this year, Le Mindu’s headpieces and frocks made from locks were featured in the windows of Colette in Paris and London’s Selfridges. And in January, at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, he collaborated with Athens art collective Atopos CVC on a performance featuring his hairy creations. “He’s unafraid to do anything,” says his frequent collaborator, fashion stylist Anna Trevelyan. “He just doesn’t care what anyone thinks.”