Can you talk a bit about the inspiration behind your collection? There’s an ethereal, airiness to it, where did that idea spark from?
I absolutely love the editorial magazine work and that’s one of the sources of inspiration for us—to always create a collection that can almost be in a fashion magazine. The spark for this one was heaven, the art of lighting and photography. Those were the three main elements of this. To create that heavenly feeling through lighting and photography. When looking at Andrew O’Toole’s photography, you can see that there’s an emotional experience and a magic that comes through and resonates through his imagery, we definitely give thanks to Andrew for bringing that across in the collection as well as he did.
I want to speak in more detail on the technique behind creating these looks. How was the execution process for each look?
There’s nothing in this collection that hasn’t been done before, but it was just a matter of trying it ourselves and seeing if we can interpret it a little differently by using gold flakes that are generally used in more of a theatrical role opposed to what you would traditionally see in hairdressing in a salon setting.
The gold flakes actually are not that difficult to incorporate into the hair…the subtlety and the fabric itself is so fine and gentle that a little bit of hairspray actually goes a long way, and it connects nicely.
That particular shape for Fall/Winter is very current. When I first saw the image of rectangle for Fall/Winter as one of the directions of where shape was going, I thought, ‘I’m not sure what I think of that,’ and then I immediately let go of myself and said, ‘No, be open. Be open to different shapes.’ In the beginning, if I had to pick a favourite, that definitely wasn’t it, but in the end, this became my favourite image in the collection.
In terms of creating it, there’s pads holding the hair up. You can actually put a base underneath the hair and braid the base of the model’s hair and bobby pinning it to the base. You can pretty much create any shape that you want.
When we look at hair fashion, we really like to see organic, whimsical, deconstructed, hair. This is our flavour and our taste. We prefer to see a softness as opposed to a rigidness. For this particular look, we actually crimped her hair. If you blow it up and look really closely, you’ll see the texture of the hair is crimped.
When looking back, is there anything you’d like to tweak or fix? Any regrets or lessons learned?
There’s no room for regret in a shoot because you’re going into a shoot with a lot of ideas and what comes out of it really is pretty spectacular. Just to actually have the resources and the ability to be able to collectively put it all together and organize it and have all these people come together with you is amazing. The overall outcome of this collection was really exceeding our expectations and we’re just so excited to be able to get these blown up and put on the walls in the salon.
Your team won this award last year, too. What do you most enjoy about entering the Contessas?
I think that when you look at Contessa, on an International scale, we are being provided a global platform to present work that is really on an international scale. When you’re on social media and you see a world-renowned person like Mark Leeson saying how grateful he is and thankful to win the International award for a Salon Contessa, that’s very telling.
How did your team feel when Harmony Hair Care was selected for the Contessa award?
Our first year was filled with endorphins and it just catapulted—like we were going to the moon. Year 2 was really all about unity, appreciation and love, and what we shared with one another. We were able to calm that energy down enough for me to be able to get up there and actually share that information with everyone. Your heart’s pounding through your chest and your body’s shaking! So 6 years ago, this was a journey that we had started out with. We made a promise that we would do this for 5 years in a row, for us, this was year 5 and I love this so much. I’m not really sure if I can stop doing this now.
Any big upcoming projects that your team is working on?
Everyday we’re sharing images from around the world of what other people are doing because we recognize how much work is going on and how much involvement there is. It’s not until we look back, we see what we learned. In the next few weeks, we’re going to take it all in and enjoy this incredible gift and blessing that we’ve received. In the future, we’re not sure if it’s maybe different categories, or where we’ll go with that.
Salon: Harmony Hair Care, Peterborough, Ont.
Category/Catégorie: Canadian Salon Team | Équipe Salon de l’année
Hairstylists/Stylistes: Christopher Asta, Alysha Kyle, Julie Smith, Lisa Delahaye, Michele McQuillan
Makeup/Maquillage: Kylie O’Toole
Wardrobe/Stylisme: Karly Brown
Photos: Andrew O’Toole