The Insider: Who is Hollywood’s Most Sought After Colorist?
by Rachel Marlowe
Sept 26, 2012
Tracey Cunningham, colorist to the stars, is nervous. She has just come from a full day styling Kate Beckinsaleâ€™s hair for a press junket, and she is wearing a bohemian Indian smock dress with a rather large hole in it, albeit with a pair of Isabel Marant ankle boots. â€œI didnâ€™t have time to go home and change, so we decided to say this dress once belonged to Janis Joplin,â€ she jokes.
Not that this would be especially far-Âfetched. After all, this is the woman whom Bette Midler put through beauty school, whom Lâ€™Wren Scott dressed for her first day on the floor at the Art Luna Salon in Santa Monica, and who has the likes of Jennifer Lopez e-Âmailing me to declare Tracey her â€œgo-Âto,â€ while Charlize Theron confides that she trusts her â€œcompletely.â€
Since landing in Los Angeles 20-Âodd years ago, the Seattle native has managed to rack up a client list that includes Hollywood heavyweights Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, sheâ€™s responsible for that blonde), Drew Barrymore, Emma Stone (whom she turned into a redhead), brunettes Jessica Biel and Emily Blunt, plus a new generation of models (Lily Aldridgeâ€™s ombrÃ© has sparked a Jennifer Aniston circa Friendsâ€“Âscale obsession).
Therefore, the news that Cunningham was leaving the Byron & Tracey salon she helped found to open a 3,000-Âsquare-Âfoot space in Beverly Hills this fall with Neil Weisberg (of the similarly buzzy Neil George Salon) has been causing angst akin to the news that oneâ€™s best friends are getting a divorce: Who will get the Olsen twins? Where will Reese Witherspoon be going now?
At MÃ¨cheâ€”ÂFrench for â€œhighlightâ€â€”Âthe pair is aiming to create something very different from their previous ventures. â€œI want the place to be eclectic, to have a neighborhood feel and be a hothouse for up-Âand-Âcoming talent,â€ says Cunningham. And while they plan to have the obligatory in-Âhouse makeup artist for red-Âcarpet prep, brow-Âshaping guru, and manicurist, expect to see Cunninghamâ€™s bohemian footprint, too. â€œI am going to bring in a great foot masseuse,â€ she says, â€œmaybe a baby grand for some mood musicâ€”â€¨and Iâ€™m pushing for a salon cat.â€
MÃ¨che Salon. Color with Cunningham, from $175; 8822 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. â€¨Opening late fall.