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What Happens When a Model Gets All Her Hair Chopped Off at Alexander Wang

How Charlee Fraser's show schedule progressed after a dramatic haircut at the beginning of New York Fashion Week.
Charlee Fraser backstage at Rodarte. Photo: Eliza Brooke

Charlee Fraser backstage at Rodarte. Photo: Eliza Brooke

Much like that time he thoroughly shook up editors' and buyers' schedules by showing in Brooklyn, Alexander Wang caused a bit of commotion this season by having hairstylist Guido Palau give a number of models dramatic haircuts and dye jobs before his show on Saturday. Charlee Fraser, an Australian signed to IMG, who made her New York Fashion Week debut at Wang, was one of them. We chatted with her backstage at Rodarte Tuesday morning about the aftermath of the chop, and how completely changing her appearance at the start of the week impacted the rest of her show schedule.

So this haircut's new?

I got my hair cut about two days ago for Alexander Wang. I had really long hair, and they had a bit of an idea that they wanted to cut it before [the show], but the day of the show they were like, 'Yeah, we're going to cut it. Just checking that you're okay that we cut it.' It's gone from my boobs up to my ears. I've had long hair my entire life. This is the first time I've had it short, and this is the shortest I'll probably ever have it.

Was there any doubt in your mind about letting the Wang team do it?

My first thought was, 'Oh my god.' I was like, I'm okay with it up to the shoulders. But then I had a day or two to marinate it in my mind, and I thought, 'Okay, this is for Alexander Wang, this is for my career, it's going to be an amazing show. If they cut my hair, I'm definitely [walking]; it's not something that they're going to do and then a second later take you [out of the lineup].' And my agent was very supportive. He was like, 'It's going to be amazing for you! Just be cool with it when it happens!'

And Guido, the hairstylist who did all the cuts, is pretty trustworthy.

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Guido's amazing. One of his assistants, John, cut it, and Guido was supervising the entire time and made the final decisions.

Had you already booked other shows before the haircut? Were they cool with the new look?

I was still doing fittings and castings at the time [of the cut] — Alexander Wang was my first show. So immediately after I got it cut, I had to send selfies to my agent, and he had to forward them out to the other show clients to let them know that my hair's been cut. All the show clients recast me or saw me again to take fresh photos of my hair. A lot of them had really, really positive feedback and really loved it, so it was a good thing.

How many seasons have you done so far?

This is my first season! I kind of jumped straight in the deep end with getting my hair chopped off and starting with Alexander Wang.

What other shows have you got going on?

I've done Derek Lam, Sies Marjan, Maiyet. Today we have the wonderful Rodarte, and I've also done Prabal. I'm not quite sure what I have after that, but we'll see! I'm taking it day by day at the moment.