What do Princess Leia, the Mad Hatter and Tina Turner have in common?
Their iconic hairdos are now exhibited at a multi-brand boutique in Kuala Lumpur.
Also in the hair-raising squad? Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna (from her Hung Up era), Lady Gaga and Jessica Rabbit (of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? fame).
The eight hairdos – or rather, wigs – are the result of a collaboration between Kens and local hairstylist David Shaw. On display until the end of October, it is in conjunction with Halloween and also to promote new haircare brand Sachajuan.
Kens founder Ken Lim explained: “I came across David’s creative work at a birthday costume party two years ago and has been looking for a way to work with him. Then I found out that David is an avid fan of Sachajuan Hairspray Strong Hold and uses it religiously during photo shoots. I am very excited that we can now see his work in our window display.”
Reaction to the celebrity-themed wigs has been positive. “Some customers have even offered to buy them!” exclaimed Lim.
Asked to name his favourite, Lim replied: “Personally, I love the Jessica Rabbit wig. Supermodel Heidi Klum dressed as the character for Halloween in 2015 and it remains my most favourite transformation ever. And David’s Jessica Rabbit red wig is so impeccably made.”
As for Shaw, he likes Mad Hatter the best. “It is instantly recognisable, and has the most dramatic elements compared to the rest.”
He named Princess Leia as the most challenging wig to work with. “It looks simple but it’s not. It requires a lot of skills to tie up the buns, and they don’t hold.”
According to Shaw, the entire process took two months. “The first month was about exchanging ideas before we finally settled on the eight icons. It then took me a month to create the collection.”
Shaw, 39, has come a long way from his humble beginnings at hair salons before getting his first big break in TV productions. Today, he is one of Malaysia’s leading hairstyling gurus, whose work is featured in local and international fashion magazines. Shaw has worked with designer brands such as Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Christian Dior and Celine as well as celebrities Christy Chung, Qi Qi and Simon Yam.
He is also the founder and owner of Hair Menu, a wig shop in Kuala Lumpur with customised designs made from high quality materials including human hair.
Away from the glamour of the fashion industry, Shaw now devotes his time to cancer patients in need of comfortable wigs. After undergoing chemotherapy, many patients lose their hair – and along with that, their confidence.
Shaw recalled a young boy who entered his shop armed with only RM100. “He wanted to buy a wig for his mum who was suffering from cancer. I told him to pick anything he liked. Later, he sent me a photo of his mother looking so radiant wearing the wig.”
Shaw added: “There was also a 60-something customer who brought his cancer-stricken wife to Hair Menu. They were going to Europe for a holiday – possibly their last – and he wanted to make the wife happy.”
For cancer patients, Shaw recommends wigs made of human hair as they last longer and are suitable for daily wear. “The biggest satisfaction for me is seeing how elated they are as they leave my shop. Their energy and confidence is bolstered by their new wig,” mused Shaw, who hopes to work with a cancer organisation soon.