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30 Jan

Shunsuke Meguro’s elaborate wigs turn anger into beauty


On the lookout for the wonder in feelings of sadness and anger, Meguro imagines intensely creative wigs that fuse hair styling and sculpture

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“Something that excites and confuses,” is what Shunsuke Meguro says, when asked what beauty means to him. That’s clear from the intensely creative wigs and hair pieces that the London-based hairstylist creates; elaborate, sculptural works that range from ships towering above the top to horse tail braids that skim the knee. Throughout all of it, there’s a playfulness and out-of-the-box considering that brings the pieces to life – and has led brands like Gucci, Versace and Issey Miyake to call upon his services. But it surely’s in his personal projects that Meguro is capable of truly communicate his own vision.

Growing up in a port town in Japan, his grandparents’ interest in calligraphy and tea ceremonies exposed him to classical Japanese culture from a young age. This influence continues in his work today, most recently in a shoot for Dazed that was inspired by the normal Japanese arts of kabuki (a performance art consisting of music, dance and drama), Shikoku pilgrimage (a pilgrimage to 48 temples within the Shikoku region of Japan) and ukiyo-e (a genre of Japanese traditional painting).

Intended to convey “the importance of cherishing and deeply knowing your country’s culture”, the shoot features elaborate and painstakingly crafted hair looks, including regal-looking wig sculptures braided with human hair that mimic the form of traditional Japanese takekasa hats, which each pays tribute to and heightens the unique styles.

While beauty and elegance are sometimes the results of his finished artworks, it’s the darker side of the emotional spectrum that fuels Meguro’s creations. “I find beauty in negative emotions equivalent to anger and sadness,” he says. “When the emotions of living creatures equivalent to people and animals collapse”. Perhaps it’s no bad thing then that Meguro is pessimistic concerning the future: for him, the treatment is for us all to look inwards and work out what we wish to say, before expressing that through art.

Read on for more wisdom from Meguro, including his journey to becoming a hairstylist and an important video game suggestion.

Are you able to tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?

Shunsuke Meguro: I used to be born to folks who were women’s clothing wholesalers and grew up in a Japanese port town facing the ocean. My grandfather does calligraphy as a hobby, and my grandmother is a Japanese tea teacher (who taught etiquette and, specifically, etiquette when drinking tea), so I used to be naturally exposed to Japanese classical culture from an early age.

What’s your earliest beauty-related memory?

Shunsuke Meguro: The primary time I went to a hair salon was once I was eight years old. At the moment, I had hair wax applied, and I used to be surprised and moved once I realised that I could move my hair freely.

How did you get into hair styling?

Shunsuke Meguro: Once I was a student, I studied hair at a beauty school and at the identical time worked as an assistant to a up to date artist. So I believed hairstylists in the style industry have design and art sides. I worked as a session stylist assistant in Japan. I learned quite a bit about this job there. In our day and age, social media made it easy to message photographers and stylists and construct portfolios.

What are you trying to speak through your work?

Shunsuke Meguro: I even have nothing to say in ‘normal’ job because every scene has a client (company, photographer, stylist etc) and a mood board. I recognise that they’re projects of firms, photographers and stylists. I take into consideration what they need to say and add my ideas to it. The one time I communicate something through my work is when it’s my personal project.

What’s been your profession highlight thus far?

Shunsuke Meguro: I haven’t achieved anything yet, but I like shows, so I used to be very joyful once I did the lead hair for one brand for the primary time at Paris Fashion Week.

Describe your beauty aesthetic in three words.

Shunsuke Meguro: Anger. Pure. Intention.

Which fictional character do you most relate to?

Shunsuke Meguro: I can’t consider a fictional character, but I sympathise with the video game designer Hideo Kojima. He said, ‘I need to be remembered for what I even have achieved, not for my title. I need to spend the remaining of my life on my mission, not on my title.’ This thought is similar to the theme of my life.

What’s your favourite look of all time? 

Shunsuke Meguro: I like women with very short, minimal hair. Since the useless things are scraped off and the person’s personality is revealed.

What’s your current obsession?

Shunsuke Meguro: Exploring commonalities between self-expression and helping others express themselves.

Are you optimistic concerning the future?

Shunsuke Meguro: I’m pessimistic concerning the future. Especially on this era, resulting from the influence of social media and Covid, people have turn out to be aware of loneliness. It is alleged that there aren’t any rules in fashion, but the truth is there are various invisible rules that unconsciously bind us. What’s diversity? This doesn’t negate the present movement inside fashion. It implies that it’s dangerous for many individuals to follow a certain idea without considering. I feel that it will be significant for everyone to pay attention to the masses and face their inner self and have their very own thoughts in the longer term, especially within the work of constructing things.

What’s the longer term of beauty?

Shunsuke Meguro: Embracing different sorts of beauty without sticking to your personal ideas. I feel it will be significant to check history and create a vision for the longer term, not the current.

You have got to switch a part of your body with that of an animal or a mythological creature. What do you go for?

Shunsuke Meguro: I need to go for a ‘Hydra’ because a Hydra is a freshwater invertebrate that’s theoretically immortal.

You have got the flexibility to live in a video game. Which wouldn’t it be?

Shunsuke Meguro: All video games could be continued, so it’s all attractive, but in the sport Death Stranding there’s a world in between heaven and hell, so I’d wish to see that.

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