Can you talk a bit about the inspiration behind your collection?
I always struggle with inspiration because I feel like things come together from multitudes of places. It kind of unfolds in front of you. I really am a detail-oriented person, but with a textured collection, I wanted the details to be just about the hair. That’s why I chose to do all blonde, black backdrop, black clothes, so nothing takes away from the hair.
Can you walk us through the technical and creative process behind each of your looks?
That was just something that came together as we were doing it. Creating the bigger shape. You can see that some of the sections are coiled together, but within the coil, there’s so much fine texture. That’s just done with a really, really small curling iron to create that really tight wave that’s brushed out and then coiled it back together. It takes forever.
That’s done with sheets of hair that I created with a hot iron. I basically took blonde hair and teased everything out and sprayed it to create a sheet of hair and from there, I accordion folded it a few different ways and then flat ironed those sections to create the lines in the sheets. The shape came together on set. I always have an idea of what I like or a texture I’m using, but how it comes together on the day of the shoot is usually different than what I originally planned.
This was a combination of textures. I wanted to bring out a little bit of that folding going on the rough the front, along with that sheet texture through the top. I wanted it to be cool and interesting, sometimes it’s hard to find the texture in really short hair like that. Not just through cutting but actually through manipulating the hair…that one foresure was something that just came together.
What was your biggest struggle or issue that you came across when creating these looks?
Typically with photoshoots, we’re well-planned in advance that the bumps in the road are pretty small when we get to that point. But definitely with the updo, it’s finding that shape that works and capturing it on film. I’ve had that experience in the past where I’ve done something that’s a bit more structured, and then you get the shots and go, “Wow, that does not look like what it looked like in my head.”
What does your brainstorming process look like?
I wish I was more organized than I am, definitely a little bit scatter-brained in that way. So my things come together with screen shots of things, I tend to look to runways for a lot of photoshoot ideas. I tend to kind of look to a lot of different directions in that way. I do a lot of sketching and a lot of writing notes on my phone and in a notebook. My mood boards are really messy
Any regrets or major takeaways from this collection?
To be honest, no. I really do photoshoots for myself, I’m always pretty true to myself and what I love. I always feel that once something goes out, because it’s something that I put my heart into and I’m proud of—if it wins, great, if it doesn’t, that’s okay too because it really is a representation of who I am. Every single time I do a shoot, I learned something from it. Whether it’s like creating certain shapes that look right or don’t look right, or angles that work. There’s always improvements to be made every time.
What was going through your mind when you were selected for this Contessa award? How did you feel?
I was super surprised when they called my name. So when they called my name, I was a little in shock, but I was super excited. I love texture and I’ve been shooting and doing photoshoots since 2005 or something. Took me a long time to make my way up to the Contessa stage, so it felt really good.
What do you most enjoy about being part of the Contessa Awards?
I just love that it’s a national platform, it brings everyone together. It’s so fun to go to the show and just see people that you only know through that world, you don’t necessarily see them all the time. It’s just a really fun and inspiring place to be. Every year when I come back from the Contessas, I always have like a new idea for something else and a new kind of serge of energy to keep creating.
Do you have any mentors in the industry?
I have millions of them. Heather Wenman gave me the foundation to styling. I walked into the salon and saw her work up on the wall and thought to myself, “That’s something that I want to do.” I first worked with her as an assistant and she taught me basically the entire foundation. But there’s a million hairdressers that inspire me so much like Silas, Toni Ricci, the list goes on.
Any big upcoming projects that your team is working on?
I’m already in the works of booking photoshoots for next year’s Contessas. We are going to the NAHA to do a show in January. I’m trying to get that Canadian someday! We’ll keep trying.
Name/Nom: Julie Vriesinga
Category/Catégorie: Texture Hairstylist | Styliste Texture
Salon: Salon Entrenous, London, Ont.
Makeup/Maquillage: Florencia Taylor
Wardrobe/Stylisme: Julie Vriesinga
Photos: Paula Tizzard