CULVER CITY, Calif. — From female directors to LGBTQ+ nominees, the 2022 Oscars is shaping up to be a year of record-breaking premieres.
The appointment of Frédéric Aspiras is one of them. He is known as the man behind Lady Gaga’s mane and is the first Asian American hairstylist to be nominated for an Oscar and just the second Asian American to be nominated in the hair and makeup category. But for him, it means much more than a price.
When looking at the wall of Joico hair products at the Henkel Beauty Care Hair Professional headquarters in Culver City, Aspiras sees a narration of the past 14 years as a hairstylist for Lady Gaga.
“It’s like a wall of memories, honestly, and we literally did every hair color on this thing,” he showed.
The designer is known for being bold when it comes to Gaga’s hair and there was no difference when she styled her for her starring role in Ridley Scott’s ‘House of Gucci’, a movie inspired by the movie. true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire.
But when Aspiras learned he was the first Asian-American hairstylist to be nominated for an Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling for the film, he sobbed.
“I was more honest with myself as an artist than I’ve ever been,” Aspiras said.
He had pushed himself to find happiness in his work, a joy he had lost to depression a few months before filming began when his mother Suzie died.
She was the reason he first picked up a comb at just 13, teaching him that hair is first and foremost about humanity and kindness. It was actually Lady Gaga who convinced him that this film could become his love letter to his mother.
“Everything she taught me, I was able to translate it all into the film,” Aspiras said.
Ironically, House of Gucci spanned three decades with all the hairstyles her mother wore in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
The director initially only wanted two wigs for Lady Gaga, but Aspiras knew it would take 10 wigs and 54 looks to look exactly like the era.
One he said he had to fight even Gaga for was in the iconic scene where she says, “Father, son and Gucci house.”
Aspiras said the curly, blunt bob she wore was the epitome of the ’80s and Lady Gaga hated it.
“I almost had to chase her around the trailer. Please put that…” he laughed.
Every day on set was like a test. He said it took nine months of planning to turn Gaga into Patrizia Reggiani.
In addition to asking Aspiras to dye her platinum-white hair brown, Gaga told the LA Times envelope roundtable that she also spent an entire year learning and speaking with an Italian accent to really sing. immerse in this role.
“Because it was important to me that the accent didn’t drive the story,” Gaga explained.
According to Aspiras, his dedication to craftsmanship was infectious and now, as the next generation of Asian American stylists turn to him for advice, he says the sky’s the limit.
“Even if you are given the variables and the obstacles that you have,” he added.
Because he is living proof that perseverance pays.