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From the neighborhood salon to the film set: a journey with the hair designer of Mare Fuori 4

Ivan Spignese reveals all the secrets of the beloved TV series' hairstyles

From the neighborhood salon to the film set: a journey with the hair designer of Mare Fuori 4 Ivan Spignese reveals all the secrets of the beloved TV series' hairstyles

When I was little, I never wanted to cut my hair. Hairdressers scared me, and my parents, with a typical parental response, would tell me that if I didn't go to the hairdresser, they would cut my hair while I was asleep. Questionable parental teachings aside, I grew up, and as with all things I didn't like as a child, I learned to love hair salons and even broccoli. Over time, the profession of a hairdresser has evolved from the classic salon with Novella 2000 to true design studios, from layered cuts and coloring for white hair to becoming a true art form. We at G-Club met Ivan Spignese, the hair designer of Mare Fuori 4, who shared his journey, challenges, and the art of creating unique hairstyles for the characters we love.

Ivan Spignese has a background rooted in salons, with over 20 years of experience before making the big leap into the film industry. He was the hair stylist for the movie La Chimera, La scuola cattolica, and Sense8, to name a few. "For 10 years, I have been working in the film industry, fortunate to work on art films. Mare Fuori was my first TV series; there was no specific path; they contacted me because my name was suggested." The actors' styles were already defined in previous seasons, but Spignese finds inspiration in unexpected ways. "My main source of inspiration often comes from watching numerous films, and sometimes, I find interesting ideas even in cartoons." Creative freedom is crucial in creating looks, and Ivan has been fortunate to enjoy this freedom thanks to Mare Fuori director Ivan Silvestrini and other artistic departments. "I have been fortunate to work in an environment where my ideas and proposed references have never been rejected, but rather, they have been accepted and integrated with enthusiasm. Of course, it is essential to respect the script guidelines, which set the overall framework within which we operate, but flexibility and open collaboration have significantly contributed to the creation of a rich and stimulating artistic work."

The fourth season of Mare Fuori is full of twists and flashbacks, bringing new challenges, especially in creating characters like the mother of Rosa Ricci, played by Antonia Truppo. "The actress, throughout the script, goes through two distinct life phases: a younger one and another, years later. To capture the essence of the first phase, where Antonia had a bob haircut, we opted to use long extensions, creating an authentic look faithful to her youth. In the second phase, we utilized the actress's natural hair length, applying only white extensions to the fringe. This detail was intended to represent a stress strand, as the character is confined to a psychiatric asylum. This is just one intriguing aspect of the season, which relies heavily on engaging flashbacks that unfold captivatingly. The multiple facets of the plot make it difficult to list all the surprises in one interview; a day wouldn't be enough to explore them all."

Reading the scripts, Ivan interprets the personalities of the characters to create suitable looks. "I interpret the characters' personalities by reading the scripts, which are a valuable source of information. Through careful reading, I try to grasp the essence of the characters and develop an idea based on what emerges from the pages. To make the interpretation more authentic, I adopt a specific method that starts with the request for a few adjectives or keywords for each character. This phase allows me to shape the character in a targeted and consistent way. For example, if the script features an aristocratic protagonist, it's clear that I can't opt for a streetwear look. A specific example of this methodology is found in my interpretation of Cardiotrap in the fourth season. In this narrative arc, the character has distanced himself from his initial darkness. His transformation was inspired by the movie "Cry Baby" with Johnny Depp, set in the '50s. This choice of reference helped shape the new tone and style of the character, highlighting my dedication to accurate and dynamic interpretation."

One of the most iconic trends of Mare Fuori is represented by the character of Crazy J, played by Clara Soccini, with her Bubble ponytail. Still, Ivan is always looking for uniqueness. "The distinctive element of my hairstyle is represented by the Space Buns, i.e., the two buns positioned on the sides, embellished in this season with small braids and colored elastics that add a touch of originality. What truly makes this creation unique is my personal homage to childhood, embodied by a Vela Di Scampia-shaped tuft. This detail not only adds an additional dimension of originality but also a deep emotional meaning to my hairstyle."

From the neighborhood salon to the film set: a journey with the hair designer of Mare Fuori 4 Ivan Spignese reveals all the secrets of the beloved TV series' hairstyles | Image 491257

Special effects play an important role in creating memorable scenes, such as the fire at the recording studio. "I loved creating the burnt effect on Crazy J's hair, aka Clara Soccini. I paid a lot of attention to applying specially created textures to simulate the desired result. In the same scene, I had the opportunity to add interesting details for the characters of Cardio and Alina. Both present sweat effects at the hairlines and soot, contributing to making the scene even more realistic and engaging. It was a fascinating creative and technical process that made this experience unique in the fourth season." Challenges on the set are not lacking, especially when it comes to adapting to changes in the actors' hairstyles between takes. "When I joined the fourth season, some actors had changed their looks for new projects. Considering that months pass between seasons, I had to adapt, especially with actors like Cardiotrap. To recreate his iconic Mullet, which had meanwhile changed style due to another parallel project, I used extension textures at the back of the head." And he continues: "The real challenge comes on set since we don't shoot the film or series in sequence. Between scene changes, there are often changes in hairstyles, as in the case of Kubra, who underwent a total evolution this season, as well as Rosa Ricci."

For Ivan Spignese, the key to success is humility and continuous learning. "Read a lot, watch many films, especially those from past eras, and the most important thing is to train first in a salon to enrich techniques and then approach the set." Finally, Ivan gives us a glimpse into the future hair trends in 2024. "In the landscape of hair trends for 2024, we witness a return of familiar styles, reinterpreted in a fresh and contemporary way. New acronyms defining the latest proposals emerge, including Shullet Bixie, a layered and layered cut ideal for round, square, elongated, or symmetrical faces. This style offers unique versatility, adapting to different face shapes. Another protagonist is the Layered Bob, a cut that adds volume and suits all hair types. Its flexibility allows for a professional and clean look, keeping it smooth, or opting for a curled hairstyle for a glamorous touch."

While the world travels through social media, Ivan prefers the backstage over the virtual limelight. "Looking to the future, I intend to continue dedicating myself to the cinematic world because there is nothing more rewarding than transforming a simple script reading into a tangible creation on set. The feeling of seeing the result on the screen is truly exciting. Nowadays, it is undeniable that communication is shifting more and more to social media. While many appreciate the idea of sharing live tips and content, I personally prefer to focus on the backstage. I find particular satisfaction in contributing behind the scenes, bringing to life the visions and stories that capture the audience's attention."