Marni Brings the Global Climate Crisis to the Runway With a Striking Hair Statement

Lauren Valenti

Ahead of the Marni show in Milan this afternoon, the backstage milieu was a cross between a flower shop and pottery studio—and it could only mean one thing: Julien d’Ys was in the house.

With Francesco Risso presenting a visual commentary on climate change that coincided with today’s global climate strikes, the multidisciplinary hair artist made a point of furthering the designer’s sustainability narrative. Demonstrating his inventive technical skill, d’Ys crafted an assemblage of clay-slicked, floral-bedecked updos, which inspired awe as they floated above the floral painting–motif jackets, mermaid frocks, and appliqué knit gowns coming down the runway.

Photographed by Corey Tenold

“It’s all inspired by this idea of basic humanity,” explained d’Ys, dipping his hands into bowls of red, white, and green clay and working the smooth, fine-grained substance into each model’s hair for a very literal wind-blown feel. “No chemicals! Real flowers! Clay! It’s so organic and peaceful.” Bringing an array of dried florals over from Paris and sourcing the rest fresh from Milan, d’Ys handpicked arrangements, fastening them in the back of sleek knots or decorating linear, gravity-defying styles to headpiece-like effect.

“Flowers can be very romantic, but this is not meant to be romantic—these are strong women,” said d’Ys, applying an array of antiqued flowers to the dark, ceiling-bound lengths of model Jess Maybury. “Every element is connected for the Marni woman,” d’Ys said with a smile. “She’s a real character.” And better yet: one with an environmental message that cannot be ignored.

Photographed by Corey Tenold
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Originally Appeared on Vogue