The 2017 Met Gala red carpet was home to endless hair inspiration, from chic updos to sleek bobs and beyond. Two stars who never disappoint with their mane moves? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen — and their hairstylist, Mark Townsend, has revealed the unexpected secrets behind the sisters’ effortlessly chic styles to PeopleStyle.
On fashion’s biggest night, Mary-Kate told Townsend to think “modern gypsy” when coming up with inspiration for her look. So working off of her natural texture, he waved sections with a double-barrel curling iron and sprayed dry shampoo all over to add texture, before adding in the details.
“She had the most clear vision. I literally pulled pictures of paintings of gypsies and would send them her, and she’d be like, ‘yup, on the same page.’ She had several different options for hair embellishments. The chain that she found was so perfect — it’s an antique. It was incredibly heavy, so it did take a lot of work to secure it, so I put a ton of anchor pins in there,” he shares, adding that she even allowed him to break her 5 bobby pin maximum rule.
But Townsend didn’t stop at the chain. “With Mary-Kate, we always like a little secret worked in there, and she loves braids,” he says. “I wrapped red and gold metallic threads through several braids in her hair, and added fine gold chains into them. I love collaborating with her because we get in the mirror and she’s so visual and I am too, so we rely on a lot of photo references or we’ll try a few different things. When the chain was on top of her head, she placed it where she would want it, and I frantically pinned around her hands.”
As for Ashley’s Victorian-inspired look, her strands were air-dryed — and Townsend didn’t use a single heat styler to create her look. “She has amazing natural texture, so as soon as she came down with her hair still damp, and she knows to just not touch it. It dried almost too good, so I roughed it up with a bit of dry shampoo, and she likes a tiny bit of flyaways, so she went back and scrunched it with her hands.”
Then, the pro and Olsen decided to show off the collar of he jacket by tucking her hair into it. But if you’ve ever attempted to pull off this no-fuss look, you’re well aware that it’s not easy to maintain a tucked look for more than 5 minutes, which is why Townsend has discovered the secret.”We wanted it to keep it’s shape all night long, so I had to make it look like it had been done but not over done, which is what their whole aesthetic of hair is,” he said. So Instead of leaving Olsen’s hair loose inside her collar, he created a teeny tiny braid at the ends of her strands, which managed to keep her hair secure in one place. “When she put the jacket on, it pushed the hair forward, almost giving her a faux bob at the same time.”
What do you think of their Met Gala looks? Sound off in the comments below.