There have been a lot of famous redheads over the course of history, from Queen Elizabeth I to comedienne Carol Burnett to singer Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice). Yet, they are almost non-existent in fashion.
Name some major redheaded models. Go ahead. Alex Glenday, Barbara Meier, Cintia Dicker, Karen Gillan, Elise Hélène Gatschene, Lily Cole, Magda Jasek. That’s all I could come up with, going back over editorials for the past few years. Given the thousands of pictures that have been published and the hundreds of models in them, you would think there would be a few more. If there are, though, they’re staying well hidden.
It’s not that we don’t like redheaded models. We love them! But in the world of fashion, they create a unique challenge: how do you dress them in something that doesn’t clash with the hair? Brunettes have been dominating editorials the past four months in part because their neutral-colored hair goes with just about anything. Blondes are always popular and their lighter neutrality brings out highlights in intricate dark fabrics.
Redheads, however, have to worry about clashing. Certain shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, and gold run the risk of contrasting horribly with the model’s hair, and often there’s no good way to be sure until ftting. As a result, redheaded models are often not even considered for the majority of fashion opportunities.
Then, just to confuse matters even more, our model here isn’t really a redhead. Look back to PROJECTION and you’ll see a blonde. Same model. We didn’t color her hair and I’ve intentionally under-processed these photos a bit so as to reduce claims of digital manipulation. The changes we made to lighting between shooting PROJECTION and this set were minimal, but enough to catch a completely different hue and cause her hair to appear a beautiful shade of red. The results are incredibly beautiful.
Personally, I love redheads. One of my hardest, unrequited crushes was a beautiful, tall, strawberry blonde in my senior class in high school, and there have been many others since then. The look is beautiful and classically unique. Artists have, for centuries, loved using redheads as subjects … and more.
Perhaps, part of what makes redheads so desirable is that its not a look we see as often. If so, then maybe it’s a good thing that they’re not as ubiquitous as blondes and brunettes. That which is more rare is more valuable.
So, here’s to being fashionably red, even when you’re blonde.
Make-up by Sasha Star[Disable Flash Gallery]