Head Trip: Artful Hairstyles Seize the Spotlight

Mustafa Yanaz creates sculptural hairdos that are equal parts prim and punk.

Hair by Mustafa Yanaz
Photographs by Walter Pfeiffer
Styled by Ray Tetauira
Makeup by Hannah Murray

Paco Rabanne dress; Buccellati earrings.
Rebecca Leigh Longendyke wears a Paco Rabanne dress; Buccellati earrings.

“I basically grew up in my mother’s salon,” says Mustafa Yanaz, who was born and raised in a small town near ­Stuttgart, Germany. “I would go after school and watch her do all these updos and superchic blow-dries.” Nowadays, the New York–based stylist is known for what he calls “crazy, superwild, generally very rebellious” hair, but for this story, his mother’s love of old-school techniques was the starting point. “Back in the ’60s and ’70s, people really did something with their hair,” he says. “Now it’s all natural, undone—you know, beach waves! I wanted to bring back the idea of something proper, but in a kind of fucked-up, punk way.” To that end, Yanaz pored over a cache of midcentury fashion glossies he found in the basement of a friend’s bookshop and imagined infusing the black and white images with vivid colors. “I watched all these documentaries about the German supermodel Veruschka, and in one of them she talks about how she did her own hair for shoots with Avedon and Penn,” Yanaz says. “I found that fascinating—how it was just a model and a photographer in a room, making amazing images.” That said, the creations in this story are anything but DIY. Yanaz painstakingly sculpted bangs, beehives, and bowl cuts on foam heads in his studio, using blonde wigs, doughnuts, and extensions he dyed orange, pink, and peppermint. Some of the coifs are composed of multiple wigs he cut on set to suit model Rebecca Leigh Longendyke’s features. All required liberal amounts of hairspray, root color spray, and gel to set the architectural shapes in place. The end result? “Stylized, with a sense of humor,” Yanaz says. No doubt his mother would be proud.

Bottega Veneta halter dress.

Balmain dress.

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello tailored dress; Wolford tights; Prada shoes; stylist’s own shirt and tie.

Missoni dress.


Hair by Mustafa Yanaz for GHD at Art + Commerce; makeup by Hannah Murray at Art + Commerce; manicure by Christina Conrad for Kure Bazaar at Calliste. Model: Rebecca Leigh Longendyke at Elite NY. Casting by Michelle Lee at Michelle Lee Casting. Set design by Sophear at Art + Commerce. Produced by PRODn Paris; photo assistant: Matei Focseneanu; lighting assistant: Dan Spigelman; digital technician: Simon Habegger; retouching: Imagin Productions; fashion assistant: Manon Baltazard; hair assistant: Sofien Semmache; makeup assistant: Jill Joujon; set assistants: Victor Leverrier, Athanasios Kanakis.