We caught up with the Contessa 2016 Elite Maste Hairstylist, Guylaine Martel, to learn how she plans her collections, what inspires her, and her goals for the upcoming year.
Salon Magazine: When did you first know you wanted to be a hairstylist?
Guylaine Martel: I decided to become a stylist after studying in the arts because I loved fashion and everything that has to do with it: clothing, music, makeup, shows and photography.
SM: Who are your styling influences?
GM: I don’t seek out influences, and this is a very important aspect of my work. From a technical point of view, I do look to Europe for key influences. I have been very inspired by Alexander Mc Queen, Gareth Pugh, Trevor Sorbie, and Iris Van Der Heijden.
SM: Where you do find your inspiration?
GM: My inspiration always comes from an emotion I’m feeling.
SM: What’s your secret weapon?
GM: My most important tools are my hands, my Japanese comb and Air Fix spray from L’Oréal Professionnel.
SM: What’s the next milestone you want to achieve in your career?
GM: I’m starting to experiment with videos and short features. I love it ! I feel that I can go further in exploring emotions. I’d also love to do a show in Asia.
SM: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone entering the Contessas for the first time?
GM: First and foremost, I think it’s important to find a storyline. Then, you have to work on the technical side in order to get an almost perfect result. But above all, you need to be authentic in order to affect people.
SM: What are your top tips for working with a team, both in and out of the salon?
GM: You have to listen. Being open changes everything! You also need to step out of your comfort zone and surround yourself with the best talents you know, which makes for a very enriching learning experience.
SM: What’s your process for planning a collection?
GM: I need to feel and listen to a predominant emotion in me. Then I create an inverted pyramid until I can get down to what’s really essential. For instance, I’ll start with a mood board, then I work on the texture, the colours, lines and volumes, the mood, the emotion, the music, etc. But the most important thing for me is to tell a story that will affect others.
SM: Who’s the first person you called when you found out you were a Contessa finalist?
GM: My photographer, and then my partner.