Amazing concepts come from everywhere and at any time. About two summers ago I had thought about doing a hairstyling collection with braids inspired by my backyard pond and floral garden. The concept was in the early stages of development and I had shared the idea with my friend Genna Yussman Greene. I had a general direction for where I wanted to go for hairstyling but had not finalized what I was thinking for wardrobe or make up. I had put together a vision board with paper fashions and bold eye make up. I would have Genna do both the styling and the photography and Isidro Valencia for make up.
2019 IBI Award Finalist
I spent two days practicing on my mannequins. Spending alot of time on them meant having sore hands and fingers. Blow drying long hair, practicing sectioning, various braids and braiding techniques. I used hair pads and lots of hairstyling products. I used hot tools, clips and lots of hairspray on these days. I took photos with my camera phone and sent to both Genna and Isidro. Genna sent me camera pics back of the wardrobe she was putting together. I was able to visualize the model’s face when I created the looks which made the day of the photoshoot easier to adapt the style to the models.
Our studio (Absolute Studio) was freezing in December and I staggered the models through out the day. Each model took over two-three hours per styling along with an hour of makeup. The girls turn up the heat for Genna while she took photos but we were all freezing. Fortunately the entire shoot was worth it at a whopping ten hour day plus an additional 6 hour day for the second day.
I could not have asked for a better set of talented models. I booked Theresa Krosse, Chelsey Malm and Dakota Bruton. I had decided last minute along with Genna to introduce a fourth hairstyle and with that we added an additional shoot day and another model, Lucy Duane. Each look was very technical and showcased intricate braiding and long hairstyling and finishing. The make up Isidro created was bold and clean and really showcased the beauty of each model’s bone structure.
Chelsey’s hairstyle consisted of a braided hair veil that draped the side of her face and formed from on scalp braids. I set her hair with a curling iron with the remainder of her hair. Afterwards the hair was backcombed, brushed and styled into shape.
Theresa’s look is all about texture. I created a lot of on scalp braids and a large fish tail on top of her head. The ends of the braids after securing with micro bands I wrapped them around large hair pins and heat styled them with a hair iron. This technique in the beauty industry is referred to as “Rick Racking”. Afterwards the hair was brushed out and sprayed with hairspray.
A lot of hairdressing went into each look. Hair was set on each model first using Redken’s Gut 10. Hair was braided using Water Wax, Braid Aid and set with the Sam Villa texture iron, straightening iron and marcel iron in some combination on the four models. Hairsprays of choice were Fashion Works 12, Control Addict 28 and Triple Dry 32.
lucy’s hairstyle included on scalp braids that curved the rounds of the head. I created a textured high ponytail I then brought across the top toward the face. I took the ends of the braid and secured them on top the ponytail and pulled the hair between the braids. I created a single braided rose on her left side. I used Water Wax on the braids for control and lots of shine. I liked the contrast of the textured, matte ponytail with the sleekness of her braids.
For Dakota’s hairstyle. I did a lot of ponytail on the back and sides of her head. I backcombed a large section and secured with pins. I did several fishtail braids that I fanned out and wrapped over the backcombed section. The front of her hair did on scalp braids and I formed the ends of the braids into flowers. You can see below how I changed my design from the mannequin prep day below.
Isidro convinced me to enter the 2019 IBI awards (International Beauty Industry Awards) I entered three of the looks. I found out on October 1st one of the images won the award for “Best Braided Styles” and a second image was named a finalist for, “Best Undo Hairstyle”. I could not believe it and was beyond thankful. Our team worked so hard.
The entire collection was submitted for publication and published in a four page spread in Feroce Magazine in the July 2019 issue. The collection had a snippet featured in the June 2019 of Beauty Launchpad magazine.
Theresa Krosse @theresa_krosse
Lucy Duane (Heyman Talent Agency) @lucyduane
Dakota Bruton @dakotabruton.model
Chelsey Malm (Tribe Management) @chelsey.malm
Photography | Wardrobe: Genna Yussman Greene @gennayussman
Make Up: Isidro Valencia @valenciamakeup
Hair | Creative Direction: Matthew Tyldesley @hairbymatt