Get the Behind-the-Scenes Scoop on Lupita Nyong'o and Cynthia Erivo's Met Gala Hair from Their Stylist Vernon François
On Balancing Lupita Nyong'o's Hair with Her Statement-Making Gown:
“After last year’s headpiece, we really wanted to let the dress be the star this year," hairstylist Vernon François told PeopleStyle. "Her Prada dress has so much texture on the top that we decided to take her hair off her face and pull it back into a really taut and sleek style. Inspired by this year’s Comme des Garçons theme, we knew we had to have a 'wow' factor and an element of surprise, so that’s what you see in the styling details in the back of her head."
How to Re-Create Lupita's Met Gala Look:
“Lupita likes to wear her hair natural," her pro told PeopleStyle, "so we began by cleansing her hair with a co-washing product from my collection to protect her natural texture. Then I used a nourishing spray to relieve some of the stress her hair has been under while filming a movie."
After a scalp massage, François "began to craft her look and give it some shape using Paul Mitchell and Oribe texturizing sprays. Then I used a hard bristled brush, rat-tail comb and bobby pins to pull the look together and finished it off with some got2b gel for a sleek, polished look.”
On the Pressure to Produce Another Gorgeous Moment:
"Given how well-received her look was last year, I had high expectations to deliver a fabulous look again, says the pro, who admits to having his own pre-carpet jitters. "I was definitely nervous – and working under pressure – but I decided to live in the moment and vibe off of her energy to create something new and different - and that’s exactly what we did."
Naturally, his longtime client (and Erivo) both adored their looks: "They both said 'Yassssss darling, yassssssss!' They really loved their looks and I was happy to have created them."
On Concepting Cynthia Erivo's Epic Met Gala Style:
Cynthia has an edgy/creative style and is always willing to push the boundaries with her fashion, so we combined her personal style with the theme of the night to create hair that could play off the texture of Thom Browne dress, explains François, reveling that “all of the hair jewelry that Cynthia wore were actually pieces taken from her dress. I decided to use them as hair embellishments to kind of tie the look together and make a statement.”
How to Re-Create Cynthia's Beaded Do:
François spent over 48 hours prepping for Cynthia's look. But the work was worth it: "I was really excited to try something new with her. I handmade each of her hairpieces to really make sure that it matched her actual hair texture and color flawlessly. I used my Curl Moisture Spray to keep her natural hair hydrated before applying gel to hold the style and some pins to keep it in place. The rest is magic, I can’t give away all of my secrets!”
On the Emotional Night
François wouldn't trade the hour and a half it took to craft each look for anything, he says. “To be working with both Lupita and Cynthia was really emotional, those are my girls! I’ve known them for a long time," he enthuses. "Both of them are such proud and powerful women and it’s an honor to be able to style them for such a monumental event that celebrates both fashion and art."