Getting ready for the Met Gala

Follow along behind the scenes during the preparations for this year's Met Gala. See how Johan Hellström created Fredrik Robertsson’s and Iris van Herpen’s hairstyles for the gala evening. He also shares his sources of inspiration and how he created the looks.

What was it like at the Met Gala and how did you get on the famous guest list?

It was magical! An invitation to the Met Gala is the most difficult invite to get in the entire fashion world, but I got in through Björn Axén. Due to our collaboration with Iris van Herpen, she suggested that I would wear one of her creations at the gala and that's how I got invited.


Looking back, was the Met Gala what you had imagined?

I had high expectations from the beginning and knew that it would be out of the ordinary. Especially since I knew that Anna Wintour is very careful with who she invites and personally checks each guest. But despite this, the gala exceeded all my expectations. I had for example never imagined walking down the red carpet with Sarah Jessica Parker. It was surreal and felt a bit like being in a dream. Everyone was also incredibly friendly and very generous with compliments.
Was it a matter of course that Johan would do your hair?

Most definitely! I couldn’t have imagined having anyone else do it.
Did you discuss what your hair would look like before the gala night, or did you make that decision on the spot?

Yes, to some extent. We already knew that I would wear a hand-knotted wig and that I wanted a wet look, but all the details fell into place there and then. It turned out incredibly well, Johan is a true professional.

What was your inspiration for Fredrik's hair?

I was inspired by the garment's symmetry and wanted to create a look that highlighted the jumpsuit’s features. Therefore, I decided to create a wet back slick that would complement it.
How did you create the hairstyle?

To create a wet look, it is important to use products that give the impression that the hair is wet. Of course, I used products from Björn Axén and started out by mixing Salt Water Gel and Argan Oil Smooth Milk. A mixture that I applied all over the wig, which made the hair more malleable. I then combed the hair backwards and shaped it with my fingertips to create a wavy texture. After that I sprayed Just Right Hairspray all over the hair and gently dried it with a blow dryer at a distance to ensure that I didn’t ruin the shape. Lastly, I applied even more hair spray using the fixing and shining spray Megafix Hairspray. A spray I applied before the hair was completely set to ensure that the hair would be hard enough to stay in place throughout the entire evening.
What makes the hairdo special according to you?

If you look at the jumpsuit, you’ll see that the feathers are in a gradient color scale. I chose to highlight that by allowing the darker hair in Fredrik's scalp to be visible. An effect I created by shaping the hair with my fingertips. To me, this is what makes the hairstyle special, because it creates a clearer connection between Fredrik and Iris van Herpen's creation.
Did the result turn out as you had hoped?

It turned out even better! I improvised a bit, but if I’d do it again I wouldn’t do anything differently.

Copyright © Björn Axén 2021. Björn Axén Retail AB, org. nr: 556545-4302