Charlie Le Mindu
Can you tell us about Charliewood? How did you come up with the exhibition/performance?
It was inspired by my childhood. I’ve always loved rollercoasters and theme parks, and I wanted to recreate this fairground atmosphere in the space at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The idea was to create a magazine-style revue, and offer different interlinked themes such as celebrities, gossip, fashion and art.
You once said “I don’t see myself as an artist”, so why did you put on this show at the Palais de Tokyo?
If someone asks me “are you an artist?” I never say yes. I see myself more as an artisan. But the Palais de Tokyo is such a beautiful place, and they offered me a fantastic opportunity. I see this work as a sort of residency, where I draw on the world of showbiz. I started my exhibitions at the Fondation Cartier two years ago with Paris Hait Gris. I also produced a show at Crazy Horse for the Paris Haute Couture Week last year. I’ve mashed up my favourite moments and updated them. Charliewood is a mixture of me and the all stupid stuff I’ve done. The show is perhaps a more polished version of the originals, and it has more of my trademark, even though I also created the first ones. Charliewood is more of a reflection of my silly side.
Why did you choose the name Charliewood?
I was inspired by Dolly Parton and her Dollywood theme park. I wanted my very own Charliewood!
You combine music, dance and film. Is it important for you to push past the boundaries of the hairstyling world?
I’ve been a hairstylist for quite a while so I’ve naturally discovered lots of other things, even though hairstyling technique is essential. But I still prefer hairstyling, and I’ll always be passionate about it.
"I didn’t want to by a hairstylist originally, I just wanted to make people happy. But I saw how the girls who worked there made the customers happy, and I wanted to do the same!"
Does the expression Haute Coiffure mean anything to you?
I’ve tried to modernise the concept. Haute Coiffure is like Haute Couture, but for hairstylists. You have to put your time, passion and money into creating something from hair, as well as focusing on everything around it.
You’ve lived in London and Berlin. Why did you come back to Paris?
To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve travelled around a lot, but I knew I could create exhibition spaces in Paris and I had everything I needed right here.
How did you get into hairstyling?
I started when I was 13 at my grandmother’s salon in the Médoc region. I didn’t want to by a hairstylist originally, I just wanted to make people happy. But I saw how the girls who worked there made the customers happy, and I wanted to do the same!
Haven’t you ever wanted to have your own hair studio?
I had one at Harrods in London, but it’s not something I’m interested in today. The world of show business is my new passion. I love it when hair has real movement!
Do you think there’s any room left in the hairstyling world?
Of course! There are still so many things that haven’t been done.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
I’m currently working on an exhibition in the Bordeaux submarine base that I’m very attached to. After that I’ll be taking everything as it comes and focusing on Charliewood.
Whose hairstyle gives you goose bumps?
Jean Picon @Saywho
Jean Picon @Saywho