By  on November 14, 2008

The Paris collections were downright hair raising as wigs became clothes. Martin Margiela transformed glossy, blonde locks into a swishing jacket and turned shapely, brunette coifs into strong shoulder pads.

At Sonia Rykiel’s 40th anniversary show, where every model sported an imitation of the designer’s signature frizz, tributes included a dress with Rykiel’s face peering out beneath fake tresses, while another look took its inspiration from her red mane and multiplied it into a voluminous coat.

“In fake hair, there’s this kind of very bizarre surrealism,” says Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, whose runway bride was hidden under a veil of platinum blonde wigs. Created with hairdresser Peter Gray, the pieces had to be shipped to London to be combed before appearing on the catwalk.

Exaggerated Marie Antoinette updos ruled the runway at Comme des Garçons and Jeremy Scott.

“When things get dismal and gloomy, that’s all the more reason to dress up and put on more makeup and make your hair bigger, to have a little fun where we can still have it,” says Scott.

Indeed, backstage at John Galliano, makeup artists, hairstylists and photographers had bushels of fun as they battled for space amid bouffant wigs, oversize bonnets and giant cotton-candy clouds of curls created by hairstylist Julien d’Ys. D’Ys also supplemented tresses at Yves Saint Laurent with hair extensions that were custom-dyed in Japan to match each outfit.

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