Dauphinette’s Fall 2024 Runway Hair Served a Visual Feast Fit for Even the Most Insatiable Viewer


From its launch in 2018 up until, well, now, Dauphinette founder Olivia Cheng has built a name for herself as bringing into the world the “Happiest Brand on Earth.” Dauphinette has grown since its initial identity rooted in one-of-a-kind upcycled outerwear, but has generally stuck to an ethos of optimism and eutopia, a consistently dreamy aesthetic and an unwavering commitment to preserved flowers.  

Image courtesy of Meghan Cronin

For her Fall 2024 collection, Cheng did not abandon her principles, rather she showed us that the “Happiest Brand on Earth” is more complex than meets the eye. She credited both a 1974 Margaret Atwood poem and electronic pop duo 30H!3’s hit 2008 single, “DON’TTRUSTME” as inspiration for her show, titled “The Vegetarian.” These two sources aren’t the only paradox present in Cheng’s creative process for this show, she explains in the show’s notes, “I’m equal parts whimsical and insatiable, ethereal and feral, kind-eyed and cold-blooded. I’m a practicing vegetarian in a ferociously carnal state of mind.” 

In typical Dauphinette fashion, the looks were maximal and incorporated atypical elements, though for this show, Cheng explored an edgier itinerary. Think pâté knives, crawling beetles, an excess of safety pins, etc. It’s a daunting task to do hair for a show so congested with creativity and ambition, yet lead hairstylist and UNITE Hair Creative Director Gary Baker along with his team of stylists  managed to enhance an already unforgettable event through their own art medium. 

Image courtesy of Jena Cumbo

Cohesivity versus variety is one of the bigger decisions that goes into the process of planning hair looks for a fashion show. To accompany her line of “Bedroom Floor Couture,” Cheng and Baker opted for a wide range of styles and looks, united by a sense of edge and unapologetic intensity.  The result? A blend of nineties grunge nostalgia, embellishments and of course, “carnivorous lust.” 

The Tease had the privilege of witnessing the creative overload that was backstage at the Dauphinette FW24 show. We also spoke briefly with Tres Benzley, the first assistant to Baker, about inspiration and the products needed to make this show happen. 

The Tease: Can you tell us a little bit about the hair looks for today and what served as the inspiration? 

Benzley: So, what we got from the designer was a little bit of upcycle, so the looks are very individualistic for each model. Beautiful diamonds and, you know, just, beautiful things. I would say embellishments, yeah, beautiful embellishments. Each look has got a grunge, lived in feel. 

Image courtesy of Jena Cumbo

You mentioned the looks are all a bit individualistic. Do you find that more challenging than when there is a cohesive look for every model? 

Benzley: I think each designer always has their concept and what’s going on and what they want for the show, but I think this is much more fun for the hair team backstage to be able to do these individual looks and, and create a little bit more. I don’t know that one is better than the other, we love doing a show full of ponytails that are all cohesive and we love doing the little bit more creative and avant-garde kind of feels.

Image courtesy fo Jena Cumbo

So you’re with UNITE Hair. Could you tell us a few of the key UNITE Hair products you used today?

Benzley: We used a lot of a product called Beach Day, which really gives us a lot of grit and a little bit of setting. For the hair, we used a product called Smooth and Shine, which really gives us that wet, kind of greasy feel for the grunge. And one of our staple products is always Max Control, because it just gives us a lot of styling hold and malleability. 

What would you say is your favorite thing about working New York Fashion Week?

Benzley: I love the controlled chaos that happens at every show. I mean, you don’t know what’s going to happen next, but you’re, you’re just there for it!

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Manon Bushong

Manon Bushong is currently an Editorial Intern at The Tease. Manon adores liquid eyeshadows, thrifting, and spontaneously changing her hair color. Manon loves experimenting with semi-permanent hair color, and her favorite brands for them are Overtone and Loreal Colorista.

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