PARIS IS BURNING
Hairstylist Rolando Beauchamp on his haute couture debut.
“ 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.
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.
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