As the creative director for Regis Corporation, Jamie Suarez sets the educational tone for more than 6,000 Regis salons, the majority of which use Matrix color. So when Matrix launched its Color Sync Watercolors line of demipermanent shades, Suarez got inspired.
“We wanted to develop a collection that would get stylists excited about fashion tones for fall, with water as the inspiration front and center,” Suarez says, “This is all about beautiful washes and water-inspired application techniques all using Matrix Watercolors.”
Working underwater presents a lot of challenges—photography and lighting, of course, but also the fabrics of the garments. Suarez collaborated with season six Project Runway contestant Christopher Straub to create hand-made garments that look beautiful underwater. “The fabric had to have the flow factor,” Suarez says.. “Typically underwater, clothes and hair stick to the body. So we had to do lots of testing of materials and products to create the illusion of movement with the fabric and hair.”
Although the hair looks soft and flowy, “it’s actually hard as a rock,” says Suarez, who used polyurethane—a polymer used on hardwood floors—on wigs to create the illusion of movement.
The eye associates water’s color variations with depth. “A deep, dark tone represents deeper, thicker water,” Suarez says. “When using hair as the fiber, instead of water, putting depth inside will make it appear thicker. That’s placement of color, really placing depth where we want to create a visual thickness in the hair.”
“Think of a lake: the reflection is very clear and reflective,” Suarez says. “But as soon as the water is disrupted, it becomes not as clear. The more texture there is in the hair, the more surface application we would use with a highlight. On smoother hair, the cleaner and reflective the quality is with less surface application.”
“When we look at color placement direction mimicking the waves on a beach, it’s all about the direction on the rounded surface of the head to determine how bold you want that color to appear,” Suarez says. In the ponytail, the color is applied horizontally, like waves hitting the shore.
Hair: Jamie Suarez
Photographer: Rhea Pappas
Makeup: Julie Martin
Fashions: Christopher Straub