Nasir Mazhar and the Hats That Never Were
Paris Fashion Week may be coming to a close, but Nicola Formichetti’s first women’s show for Theirry Mugler, complete with a hissing Coco Rocha, plastic body armor and Lady Gaga, who was literally and figuratively smoking during her over-the-top trip down the catwalk, is still on everyone’s lips.
However, there is an untold tale behind the collection; the tale of Nasir Mazhar and his unseen hats. A friend of Formichetti’s and frequent collaborator, the London-based hat maker has designed several pieces of infamous Gaga headgear, like the gold orbit hat she wore in V and the spindly, Matrix-esque android goggles that wrapped around her platinum locks in the Alejandro video. So when Formichetti—who, in addition to acting as Creative Director at Mugler, is Gaga’s stylist—asked the hat maker to design some cranial creations for the house’s Paris runway show, he jumped at the opportunity. Mazhar crafted rippling, sculptural plastic hats and hairpins to complement Formichetti’s sexed-up intergalactic looks. Unfortunately, however, moments before the show, the hats were cut (as accessories often are at these runway spectaculars) and thus, were never seen by the editors, bloggers, and fashion fixtures who lined the front row. But that’s not to say the designer hasn’t gotten his time on the runway.
Mazhar, born and bred in London’s East End, has designed hats for the likes of Viktor & Rolf, Meadham Kirchhoff, Gareth Pugh, and Madonna since launching his eponymous line in 2009. He even helped transform Louise Grey’s psychedelic Fall girls into poppy retro airheads during London Fashion Week, via his surreal balloon crowns. But despite the often-elaborate nature of Mazhar’s creations, his goal is simple. “I just want to make something for everyone,” said the designer—who, wearing a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt, chipped black nail polish, and his signature box-peek cap, met with Interview just hours before the Mugler show. “People don’t wear hats anymore, and I’d like to reinvent them, to bring them back into people’s wardrobes. You get your nails done. You get your hair done. You buy new shoes or a new bag. You’ve got everything but then you come to the head. And the hat creates the total look. It’s the cherry on top of the cake, no?”
Judging by his latest collection, which showed during London Fashion Week, Mazhar is on the right path. The line included Japanese-inspired plushy hats, lighter-cap-embellished halos, and silver-studded pink veils. “The whole collection is about London,” he explained. “It’s a mix of all the subcultures and ethnicities in the city.” Mazhar’s diverse inspirations ranged from punks to Muslims to goths to what he describes as hip-hop hunnies. And while Mazhar’s faux-fur hoods, bucket hat, and zebra-print cap may not cater to your average Joe, the collection certainly accommodates a wide range of forward-thinking eclectic tastes.
But the question still stands: what’s to become of those Mugler hats? It would be a shame if they never saw light of day. Perhaps we should keep our eyes peeled for a surprise appearance in Gaga’s next video.