#OverTheTop Part One: The Madcap World of a Famed NYC Stylist

We partnered with The ONES, a new concept all about classic sneakers by Zappos, to celebrate three amazing #OverTheTop creatives who each have unique and bold style. In the first part of the series, we feature the fabulous Mischa G, a salon and editorial hair stylist whose clients have included Opening Ceremony and Nylon Magazine. You notice Mischa G. the second she walks into a room — and it’s not just because of her brilliantly coiffed, shockingly yellow hair. Whether she’s twirling a teasing comb backstage during fashion week, or under the disco ball at Le Bain, Mischa’s exuberant personality and penchant for over-the-top outfits have made her a beloved New York City character.

Mischa is in the business of transformation, a theme that carries over from her personal style. Rocking an “I Dream of Jeannie” ponytail one day, and a 70’s rocker shag the next, she moves in and out of eras as easily as she pulls off kaleidoscopic prints and sharp cat-eye liner.

For Mischa G.’s ‘mac-n-cheese’-hued set, Posture Creative Director Morgan Stuart wanted to match the stylist’s humor and bold aesthetic, resulting in a gloriously kitsch, 70’s banana-themed bathroom. The result was chic, funny, and a little weird — in essence, very Mischa.

Read on to see our full shoot and learn more about Mischa’s personal style evolution, obsession with yellow, and creative inspirations. To shop the shoe collection, please visit The ONES.

 

Mischa G Zappos The Ones

Skirt: Adam Lippes / Top and Jacket: Subject’s own / Shoes: Provided by The Ones

 

Where are you from?

I am from Buffalo, New York.

Clearly you’re a very colorful character, was that always a thing for you? What was your childhood style like?

That was always a thing for me, because when I was younger, I went to clown classes, and clown school with my family. I came from a very DIY family, so we were always sewing clothes, or turning old clothes into something new — I started sewing from a really young age.

In my high school, no one really dressed like me. I would always sew these weird headscarves to match this weird skirt that I made, to match a purse that I made. So I just kind of sewed my own crap — I also had a job at Joann Fabrics.

Oh my god, that’s incredible. So who were your big fashion icons as a young person?

I started sewing for drag queens my senior year of high school — back then there was only one drag club in all of Buffalo, so I would say all the drag queens that I met there were fashion icons for me. Also old Hollywood starlets! I would watch a lot of Marilyn Monroe movies, and things like that.

When did you start dyeing your hair?

My aunt was a hairdresser, so I dyed my hair the first time when I was about 12, and I was pretty much always a bleach blonde. Like, platinum blonde. And then I dibble-dabbled in some Manic Panic pinks, and stuff in high school — I had bleached blonde hair with pink stripes in it, that I wore poofed out, like Dharma and Greg.

When did your yellow hair come into your life?

The yellow came in about seven years ago. There were no yellow hair colors out, except for one brand called Adore, and it was the only yellow I found. When I told my salon, everyone said, “Like, golden blonde?” And I’m like, “No, like Crayola crayon. Like, yellow.” And it’s since morphed from canary yellow into a Velveeta macaroni and cheese. I go Velveeta for fall, and canary for spring.

 

Mischa G Zappos The Ones

 

Why did you choose yellow?

So when you’re a little kid, and you’re coloring in a person who’s blonde, you pick up a yellow crayon, because in little kids’ eyes, yellow means blonde. And it also matches everything. It matches black, it matches brown, it matches red lipstick, it matches pink lipstick. And I feel like it’s the most neutral color. It’s also super easy to maintain, because when you bleach hair, it naturally wants to pull yellow. So it’s way easier than being a platinum blonde.

What are some words you would use to describe yourself, and your style, if you had to pick three?

Clown baby. A 1970s couch. Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.

Your style is based around a lot of large and bright patterns. What was the evolution of that for you?

I wear a lot of vintage clothing, a lot of 60s and 70s clothing, and those are heavily patterned. Lots of geometrics, lots of paisley. I’ve always had a really big butt, and really big thighs, and wearing patterns I feel like breaks up the body differently. It also depends on my mood, the better the mood that I’m in, the more color I wear! My wife Morgan knows, I’m in all black or gray it means I’m not very happy.

What is the process of dressing like for you — when you’re putting together a look, what are you trying to convey?

I sometimes joke when I’m at work, and people are like, “What the hell are you wearing?” And I was like, “Well, Mom always told me to dress for what you want, and today I wanna be on vacation in Boca Raton.” So I always try to make something up for what I’m wearing if I’m in a good mood. If I’m not in a good mood, I can’t get myself dressed at all, and I throw hissy fits, and I hate everything.

What are some of your favorite places to shop? You mentioned you’re a big vintage person.

In New York, I go to a lot of the L Train vintage stores, and like to spend a little tipsy afternoon day-drinking and shopping. I also love Shop Worship, and Fox and Fawn’s. I also wear a lot of cool, independent designers that send me a lot of their clothing.

 

Mischa G The Ones Zappos

Bra top: Norma Kamali / Dress: Subject’s own / Shoes: Provided by The Ones

 

That was going to be my next question, actually. Who are your current obsessions in that realm?

Current obsessions are Laurel and Hector (@laurelandhector). They’re from Australia. I also love Discount Universe (@discountuniverse); super sparkly! I love this brand from Toronto, her name’s Hayley Elsaesser (@hayleyelsaesser).

You must have to be on your feet a lot in your business — are you a sneakers person? Are you a heels person? Do you switch it up?

I wear a lot of Chucks. I love the classic look because they never go out of style, they come in EVERY color, they’re super comfortable, and I can wear them with everything — and still feel like myself. I started wearing them in high school and they’re still my go to! I also love big platforms, and big, weird, comfy shoes — I love Melissa; it’s a Brazilian shoe brand, they’re rubbery and they smell like strawberries. They’re like adult jellies.

If you could design a sneaker that captured the spirit of Mischa, what would it be and why?

I would create a yellow platform hightop with orange bottoms, and thick shoelaces. Clearly yellow is my favorite color, and because I’m short and cannot always wear heels, I love a platform to give me a little boost.

How would you customize one of the pairs from this shoot?

I would probably color in every other square of the checkered Vans and the add googly eyes to the black squares!

Clearly you do a ton of work in fashion. How has your personal style been influenced by that over the years?

In the salon I can wear whatever I want, skirts, and dresses, and all that — but working backstage, and working editorially, I had a really hard time trying to figure out how to look like myself, but still be functional. It’s also hard being female in a male-dominated industry, because I still wanna feel like myself, and kind of girly, but still be able to actually do my job. So when I’m backstage, and on location, on set, I wear a lot of jumpsuits, and a lot of coveralls — I kinda made that my signature. My favorites are from another brand I love right now, Print All Over Me.

Do you feel like people expect hair stylists to be fairy godmothers?

Yeah. It’s so crazy. Clients will bring in ten pictures of Kim Kardashian, with ten different hairstyles. And I’m like, okay, so you want to be Kim Kardashian, but let’s actually talk about what hair is good for you. It’s just such a weird thing, and I’ve never done that. When I wanted my hair color, I brought in a crayon, and I was like, “I want it this color.”

 

Mischa G The Ones Zappos

 

How long have you been in New York City?

I’ve been here ten years. I think it’s fun bringing the bright, colorful thing I did in my twenties into my thirties, and beyond. I feel like you can still have colorful hair, and dress a certain way, and not look immature doing it. I wanna be a cool, yellow-haired grandma.

Whose style really inspires you at the moment?

Probably everyone that’s been photographed for Advanced Style. Do you know that blog?

Yeah. The film is incredible!

Oh my god, it’s so cool. Ari Seth Cohen did it in such a beautiful way. So I would say all the women in Advanced Style, because it’s just amazing that there’s so much care into their look, and they really own it now, in their older ages.

The New York “club kid” scene has been a big part of your life here — how has that influenced your personal style now?

It totally influenced me because you would be expected to be dressed a certain way in order to get these nightlife jobs — more conscious about your look, and come up with a whole entire idea around it. You couldn’t just be like, “Oh, it’s Saturday night, I’m gonna put on a black dress and go party.” It’s like, no it’s Tuesday, and you’re gonna go glue on some stuff to your body and call it a look. I don’t do it anymore now because I’m tired and old, but I feel like every young kid who’s creative and felt like maybe they didn’t have a “home” growing up, they can find their people, their tribe. All of my close girlfriends, when we get together, we look like a giant box of skittles. There’s a different friend for each color, and so far nobody’s touched yellow. They’re scared to do it.

It’s your turf.

Yeah. They’re like, “Nope, can’t be yellow.” But we all just met because we saw each other out, and like moths to a flame, we were all drawn to each other, because we’re drawn to pretty, colorful things.

For more information please visit The ONES

Editorial Credits

Creative Director: Morgan T Stuart / @morgantstuart

Photographer: Bamby / @bambyofsuburbia

Senior Photo Director: Asher Torres / @ashertorresphotography

Photo Director: Ryan Bevans / @ryanbevans

Photo Assistant: Kimari Hazward / @kimarirh

Set Designer: Mo Pepin / @mostafapep

Muralist: Nicky Ottav / @nickyottav

Stylist: Shea Daspin / @sheadaspin

Hair: Britt White / @brittanwhite

Makeup: Katie Robinson / @misskatiepage using NARS

Cosmetics @narsissist

Production Assts: Stevie Sullivan / @ssulli.13

Kyle Stuart / @kvlestuart

Anabel Evans / @anabelevans


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Maya Harder-Montoya
Maya Harder-Montoya

Maya is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor with a background in art history and critical theory. Her work can be found in Artforum, Blouin Art+Auction, and Artspace, as well as several academic journals. Her interests include cross-cultural narratives and the intersection between contemporary art and marginalized bodies. She holds a B.F.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of Visual Arts.

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