71. Hair Hats

This post written by me originally appeared in The Hub Magazine.

The fashion and beauty industries can take themselves too seriously sometimes. They too want you to take it seriously. But fashion, by it very nature, can be a fickle little mistress. It thrives on the pursuit of the short-lived. The desire to possess and be a part of what is new is never satisfied. There is always something on the horizon. Wearable art, though, claims to be a thing apart from fashion. It represents an attitude toward self-endorsement based on a desire to collect beautiful objects that are displayed by being worn. I mean why on earth do we spend so much time and money worrying about our appearances and by what brand is stitched in the lining? Isn’t it supposed to be fun?

Enter Nagi Noda and her “Hair Hats” like a breath of fresh air. Nadi Noga started as a graphic designer creating print advertisements, cd sleeves and book covers. Her skills and growing notoriety allowed her to start her company ‘Uchu Country’ and attracted the interests of major companies like Nike and Coca Cola. Despite her young age, she left behind an impressive variety of whimsical projects. Some examples include music videos for artists like the Scissor Sisters and Tiga, an extensive ad campaign and paper bag designs for Laforet Harajuku, and her line of Hanpanda (half panda, half other creatures) stuffed animals. Other works include direction of a TV advertisement for Coca-Cola with music by Jack White, and a collaboration with Medicam Toy to produce Nagi Noda of Be@rbrick fame.

However, we are here to talk about her project that is close to my heart. The Hair Hats. In the tradition of cutesy-kitch Japanese Pop art, or J-Pop as it is fondly known, these animal hair hats pictured above, are not made from fuzzy animal hair, but rather, are made from human hair wefts from India to take the form of animals. These incredibly detailed hair sculptures, photographed here by Kenneth Cappello, are not actually made from the models' own hair, with features like the eyes and snouts stitched on, which means that this might be a unique design that we may see on the market soon, or at least on the catwalks. Lady Gaga who loves a bit of wearable art was seen wearing one of Nagi’s Hair Hat designs for a photoshoot.

Tragically, Nagi died on September 7th 2008 at age 35, after surgical complications from injuries sustained in a traffic accident the previous year. The music video for “Hearts On Fire” by Cut Copy was the last video she made.

It has to be noted here that unlike myself Nagi wasn’t a hairstylist. However she took all the principles of the hair trade and made them uniquely her own with more thought than hair product.

Just Like Grand Wizard Theodore, a non musician who is credited for inventing “scratch” synonymous with dj and hip hop culture, sometimes it takes an outsider or non-professional to take a different approach to change a whole hair and beauty industry as we know it.

1 comment:

  1. You shared incredible information on hair hats. I read your whole blog and it is very well written and I learn too much about hair hats. Pictures posted by you are really amazing. Thanks for sharing.
    Hairdresser Training Melbourne