When you’ve been entering the Contessa Awards for a few years, like Alina Friesen, you start to get the hang of things and create your own fail-safe way of doing things.
Parade of models
Putting paper to pen, Friesen sketches her final looks for her collections and uses them as a reference point to stay organized while managing her shoots.
“I plan to shoot all my collections on the same day, which sometimes means about 13 models,” explains Friesen, a past winner and finalist in multiple categories for Contessa 2016. “I do a lot of contract work, so I spend my whole year planning to shoot about four collections at the same time—I take a lot of notes and sketch the final looks out to stay organized.” When it comes to managing that many models, Friesen explains, “I stagger their start times and have one or two assistants to help me prep all of them—I couldn’t do it all without my assistants.”
For this particular avant-garde collection, Friesen attributes her inspiration to an unlikely source: “There’s an architect named Thomas Heatherwick who created a structure in Shanghai that was made out of glass and looked like it was exploding; at the end of each glass piece, it had a plant or flower.” What she wanted to embody from this structure was the balance between “the futurism of the glass and the organic feel of nature,” which is shown in the styling and mix of textures.
Contessa 27 finalist avant garde hairstylist of the year
Dabbling in different areas of the industry, such as competition work and editorial and creative shoots, Friesen has become a well-rounded stylist.
The following are some of the styling products she covets for her Contessa-worthy looks and tips for using each.