ROLANDO BEAUCHAMP

ROLANDO BEAUCHAMP

PARIS IS BURNING

Hairstylist Rolando Beauchamp on his haute couture debut.

Claudia Lynx, Mugler, F/W 1995 couture; all photographs by Guy Marineau

I had just moved to Paris, and one of the first shows I assisted on [under key hairstylist Yannick D’is] was THIERRY MUGLER, the Fall/Winter 1995 show at LE CIRQUE D’HIVER, which turned out to be extremely important for him.

He had every major girl of the moment: Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Kristen McMenamy, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Rachel William, Eva Herzigova, Jerry Hall — Jerry Hall was beyond — Tippi Hedren, Patty Hearst.

Kate Moss, Mugler, F/W 1995 couture

There was one girl who was huge back then, Helena Barquilla, and they gave her this peacock-like outfit. She came out and shook her ass so the whole thing gyrated!

They put a girl in body armor – she looked like a robot in the movie Metropolis, with little mirrors that would shoot the lights off of her. There were pedestals with go-go girls in jewel-encrusted bras and panties and go-go boys in jewel-encrusted jockstraps.

At one point Veruschka — the Veruschka — came out in the most amazing wig and this black tuxedo skirt suit, smoking a cigarette.

Nadja Auermann, Mugler, F/W 1995 Couture

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any crazier, James Brown comes into the back area. All the French assistants were like: Who ees zat? I’m screaming at them, ‘He’s the godfather of soul!’ They thought I was crazy.

So James Brown goes out and sings, and then all of a sudden, there’s an explosion of confetti and balloons rain down on the audience.

‘Oh my god,’ I thought. ‘I have arrived!’

— as told to The Thick

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Nadja Auermann, Mugler, F/W 1995 couture