Supermodel Irina Shayk arrives at the 2021 Met Gala with a new short crop. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

We were all shook when supermodel Irina Shayk showed up at the Met Gala in a basically naked Moschino dress with her signature long hair cut into a ‘90s crop. Shayk had already faked us out a few days earlier with a bob-and-bangs look that turned out to be a wig.

Shayk’s white carpet hair moment made headlines ‘round the world, but in this exclusive interview with Grazia, her stylist Harry Josh (who also handles the manes of Gisele Bundchen, Rose Byrne and Gwyneth Paltrow) told us the truth.

Can you handle it?

Tell us about Irina’s Met Gala look. That short cut was one of the biggest surprises of the night.

Irina’s dress was literally see-through and the conversation around her look was, “I do sexy all the time. This dress looks nude and I always have long hair. Let’s be unexpected.” So we wanted to do something different and youthful. I did a deep dive into the ‘90s, saw tons of photos of Linda Evangelista from then, and that was the inspiration. This was an opportunity to keep Irina sexy and fresh, but with short hair. And it worked.

So you chopped Irina’s hair? 

Here’s the truth: It was a wig! [Ed: Boom.] I actually did cut the front of her hair and we snapped the short hair piece in the back. 

OMG. I can’t believe that’s a wig. It looked so natural. 

We really did fool people, partly because I cut the front in order for it to blend in with the back piece. This is something people can do at home, too, if they buy a short hair piece. Just be careful to keep the proportions right. But it’s definitely fun for an evening.

It seems like short hair is having a comeback right now: Kourtney Kardashian, Billie Eilish, Kaia Gerber, etc. Why do you think that is? 

I counted at least four short hair cuts at the Met Gala. I think people want to chop off their hair right now because they want freedom. People feel restricted and controlled right now. Regardless of where you sit politically… both sides feel trapped. So there’s a liberation when it comes to our appearance. We can do what we want with our beauty and our hair. I also think everyone’s over looking like everyone else.

Yes, the “ideal” of beauty is pretty homogenous right now. 

Exactly. Because of social media, reality TV stars, influencers, long hair equals sexy, but I think that’s why it takes someone like Irina to show you can still be sexy without having extensions to your ass. I mean, I could have sent her out with a bald wig cap and she would have rocked it!

The pendulum always swings in fashion. When we see the same thing for so long, it’s not cool anymore. Since people haven’t been out and about, we’re scrolling on Instagram and it’s the same thing over and over again. Beauty and hair have been challenged because of that boredom and people want a reaction. If someone shaves their head and posts it, you can bet people are going to stop scrolling and comment. 

What tips do you have for someone who wants to go short?

The key is the proportion, if you want to keep it from looking matronly. If you keep it longer with heavier pieces in the front, it will keep you from looking like a mom. You want to keep it looking cool girl so don’t do a pixie with the sideburns! It’s definitely a delicate balance. 

Beauty is a great way to express yourself and there’s no reason you need to look like everyone else. Be free!