Björk. Cher. Madonna. Lea Michele?
Bad news for fans who enjoy a good fashion risk: As red-carpet coverage has gotten more popular – even replacing the awards shows as the main event for some fashion-hungry followers – many stars are playing it safe to avoid winding up on the worst dressed list. “[These days] everybody is a critic,” hairstylist Mark Townsend, who has worked with Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Williams, Lea Michele and many others, said. “The Internet has changed it. At some [point in] time, if you were on TV you had some kind of fashion background, but now all these shows like to employ comedians to be fashion experts [instead of actual fashion people].”
One star who Townsend says isn’t afraid of what Joan Rivers and her Fashion Police cohorts might say? Glee star Lea Michele.
When it comes to her hair, Townsend says Michele is “his most adventurous client,” a woman who always has a distinct point of view… and isn’t afraid to share it.
“She has a specific idea in mind for each [red carpet] look. She’ll come in and say, ‘I don’t want to have bangs today,’” the hairstylist told EW during an event for Dove (he reps the brand’s hair care products) in New York City last week. “[One time] I literally glued latex down on her scalp and put more hair down on top of it so it didn’t look like [her bangs had] been thinned out. She will go there.”
While some of Townsend’s clients rely on him to come up with a hairstyle, Michele – much like her Glee alter ego Rachel Berry – is full of opinions. “She’ll send pictures of the dress when she picks it out, asking, ‘What do you think?’” Townsend said. “She’s very, very visual, and she has such great ideas. She’ll tear through magazines, saying, ‘I love this, I love this, I love this, but it has already been photographed, so come up with something better!’ (laughs) A lot of times it’s like, ‘The bangs of this [picture], the texture of this one.’ She’ll let us play with her color. It’s a dream for a hairdresser.”
And though Townsend’s area of expertise is hair, he understands why some actresses worry that a fashion misstep could lead to a career derailment.
“Things have changed so much. Red carpets are more of a casting session [now] than anything,” he said. “Directors and producers are [watching] so [Michele] wants to show how versatile she is with her look.”
Rachel Berry would be proud.
I - Are you happier now that Santana’s not floating alone in Louisville?
I am! I love that she’s in New York, now. I love the dynamic between Kurt and Rachel and Santana. They all really complement each other because they’re so different. Plus, I get to wear the most comfortable clothes. I was either barefoot or in slippers for the entire episode.
I - This season’s been radically different from the first three. Has it felt like a different show behind the scenes?
It does feel like a different show and sometimes I get really sad about it. We shoot on the same soundstage, but there’s this big door that separates the two worlds, so on my lunch breaks I’ll go over there and see [Kevin McHale] and [Jenna Ushkowitz] and everybody I haven’t seen, like, “I miss you guys! What are you doing?” I have no idea what they’re doing! I have no idea about the gossip and drama with the new kids! I feel like I’ve really grown up because we used to have all that stuff and now we don’t.
It’s funny because Lea and I have been getting insanely jealous of the new New Directions because at the end of every episode they get to do a fun number where they just, like, run around. Like, free-form rock-out! We never got to do that!
I- Finn’s been kind of a floater, too. He should be in New York.
I definitely think Finn needs to be there. I think they know that.
I - He has to wear these awful sweater-vests and cardigans now.
[Cory Monteith] calls himself Finn Schuester now. Every time I see him, I’m like, “Jesus.” [Laughs.] Like, “Nice wing tips.”
I - They’re going to phase him out of that, right?
I honestly have no idea. Just when I think, Of course they’ll move Cory to New York, I’ll go, Oh. Wait. Maybe he is the new Schue! I have no idea.
I - Lea Michele has said she’s definitely coming back to Glee next year, and that she’s heard the broad strokes about what next season might look like. How are you feeling about coming back full time?
You never really know what they plan on doing. I think we’ve been on the show a really long time; I wasn’t really sure what they were going to do with Santana but I think that her story line is evolving and there is more to tell. So yeah, I’d absolutely be down to be around for some portion of that. But there is the album stuff that I desperately want to get done. It’s just a matter of finding a balance. We won’t get into it until after we wrap at the end of April. We’re getting the longest hiatus we’ve ever had this year, so I’m super excited about that. [Laughs.]
- Naya on Lea, Cory, Season 4/5 … [read more here]