We caught up with Joan Novak, who took home the Master Colourist award at the 30th annual Contessa Awards.
Tell me about your collection. What inspired it?
I have always loved vintage. When I pull images from Instagram, what the Irish hairdressers were doing was cool and I was noticing the clash of different decades. Vintage and new and the eyeglass frames and it gave a really modern take on classic hairdressing. When I was casting I had the idea of casting each as a character too. I spent a lot of time looking for fabrics in the clothing and then from there, how we would accessories it. We tried to keep the balance in check and everything to enhance rather than take away from the hair.
What does winning this award mean to you?
It brings me to tears to have finally won. It has taken seven years of competing to win. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy and many times, Michelle Pargee really helped me focus on the journey and not the destination. It was the acknowledgement from my peers. I want to strive to be the best version of myself and the best at doing what I do. I have been able to do international shows and it proves to myself on a different level and I do deserve and another career goal.
Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to?
I think that my best friend Dana Lyseng and Michelle Paregee are two people who have really helped me. When I started in Whistler 10 years ago, I did a lot to improve my cutting and finishing. Now, the the best thing to be paying it forward to the younger generation. I would like to be doing more photo shoots. I’d like to do more creative work, but give back in education, and how to build your business and become a successful salon owner.
How would you describe your style when it comes to photo shoots? Any special rituals/how do you stay on track and keep the energy you need going?
Overall mood, this one was the most fun. It was the most organized I’ve been and all the models loved the concept of Gucci Nana. We all had a lot of fun and we were laughing. I was always afraid to use fashion in a hair collection, but it should have fashion In it. Sometime we are so worried about taking away from the hair and then I think I’ve hit that balance. This time I shot what I thought was cool and how to put together for me and what I wanted to see.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be doing?
I would have been a competitive skier or snowboarder. When I was growing up I always wanted to downhill ski and then I moved to Vancouver and got into hair because my inspiration was music and the punk movement, I thought it was something I could do artistically.
What’s next for you after your win? Anything you’re working on or any goals you have that you are hoping to achieve?
I’m working on my next collection and I have cast models, I have my concept already. It will have a fashion edge to it again and this time we are going into a fashion clash of 90s versus 80s punk, a really unique flavour to it.
Hair: Joan Novak, JoNo Hair, Whistler
Hairstylist: Renee Africa
Makeup: Melissa jones
Styling: Joan Novak
Photos: Kale Fiesen