Garren: The Man Behind the Manes at Anna Sui’s NYFW Show

No two fashion shows are identical. This New York Fashion Week, designers are thinking outside of the box with their collections. Opening Ceremony broke the mold with a drag performance led by Sasha Velour. Ralph Lauren celebrated 50 years with a family-filled show at Central Park. And beauty, like fashion, is also not a one-size-fits-all mandate at “the shows.” No one knows this better than R+Co co-founder and celebrity hairstylist, Garren, who was backstage at Anna Sui’s spring/summer 2019 show on Monday.

“Anna’s show is a collection of things from all over the world. I didn’t want to use a curling iron or to have the look be too pretty or too red carpet,” Garren said, shedding light on the beauty direction. “These girls are world travelers, just getting themselves together to go out and explore.”

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Garren backstage

He’s not wrong. The overall look and feel of Anna Sui’s show was a distinct mash-up of globetrotting couch surfer (and literal surfer) meets “Scumbro” a la Justin Bieber and Pete Davidson. Models wore crossbody bum bags, bucket hats, and turbans covered in Monstera Leaf printed brocade. Can summer please stay a little longer?

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An example of said couch-surfer-scumbro realness

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Gigi Hadid and the stylist

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Garren puts final touches on a model’s hair backstage. The work of a stylist is never finished!

The ease of Anna’s sumptuous yet carefree clothing was not lost on Garren. The R+Co co-owner translated that relaxed sensibility by refraining from over-styling model’s hair. Beach waves, naturally, were par for the course.

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Hanne Gaby being super chill backstage

Oh, and Flintstone-inspired buns:

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Kaia Gerber

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Bella Hadid

A good stylist is able to create looks that work with the fashion direction of a collection. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t always as easy as it might seem, but that’s what makes Garren so great. Ahead, the stylist breaks down how he gets the couch-surfer-scumbro top knot, because it takes a lot of work to look this chill.

How to Get the Look

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Gerren’s R+Co set-up

Step 1: Ride the Wave

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“WATERFALL” Moisture + Shine lotion, $29 and “MOTORCYCLE” Flexible gel, $26 both at R+Co

Start by creating a center part with damp hair. Make sure not to use a comb or brush to enhance your natural texture. Then, combine R+Co’s “WATERFALL” lotion and “MOTORCYCLE” gel throughout the hair. If your hair isn’t naturally wavey, use “SAIL” Soft Wave spray ($29) instead of the gel.

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“SAIL” Soft Wave spray, $29 at R+Co

Step 2: Diffuse the Situation

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Next, you’ll want to braid your hair loosely for waves that could part the seas, tucking any bunches of hair behind the ears. Then, diffuse away.

“After [your hair is] dry, we might mist the hair with ‘NEON LIGHTS’ Dry Oil spray ($29) to add separation and shine,” explains Garren. For the half-up and all-up look, pull a section (or all) of your hair all the way forward in a simple ponytail at the top of the forehead.

Step 3: Do Not Donut

Grabbing your mound of hair at the top of your head, start by back-brushing from tip to root with a flat brush. Spray hair with “OUTER SPACE” Flexible hair spray ($30) to maintain your newfound volume. Fluff it up.

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Then, taking the tail over hand, twist the hair in a figure-8 shape. The secret to this is to let some of the loose pieces fall out, “so it doesn’t look like a donut,” Garren says. Obviously, you should finish with more “NEON LIGHTS” for added definition. “I don’t want dull hair.”

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