Expert Advice

Behind the Cover: Holiday Vision 2013

October 4, 2013 | 12:33 PM
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It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling…
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Alvarez (far left) on set with fashion stylist Patric Chauvez.
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Going to extremes: Gucci gown paired with Top Shop jewelry.
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Hair: Luis Alvarez for Aquage

Photography: Luis Alvarez for Aquage

Hair tech: Lauren Reminick

Make-up: Wanda Alvarez

Fashion styling: Patric Chauvez

Location: Aquage Academy,

Luis Alvarez is a superstitious guy. “I don’t usually like to go backwards,” he explains. “When all the buzz about the movie revival of The Great Gatsby started, I resisted. I didn’t want to do a retro story. I always encourage my Aquage Artistic team and all the stylists we educate and collaborate with to keep looking and moving forward.”

But Alvaraz admits that he loved the 2013 movie and had “known Fitzgerald’s story forever.” What he really enjoyed, however, was how director Baz Luhrmann juxtaposed modern and futuristic elements—like Jay-Z’s rap music into the score— with the classic novel’s tale of excess, fantasy, illusion.

To stay inspired
during your holiday
rush, remember
to take time to
stretch creative

He started rethinking how he would interpret Gatsby style into a photo shoot. When the opportunity arose to do a holiday collection for MODERN and partners CosmoProf and Armstrong McCall, he knew the timing was right. He would dedicate a session of the August 2013 Aquage Academy in Cleveland to crafting a holiday vision of Gatsby to inspire stylists working through their busiest time of year. He was committed, however, to looking firmly forward, even “futuristic.” And he would balance the extreme excess theme of Gatsby with the extreme discipline of working with only two styling tools—a flatiron and Aquage Working Spray. The result is the “GATSB 3000” collection, featured on the cover and beginning on page 48.

“I said, if we are going to go way out there with the hair, let’s use just one product. Working Spray is very utilitarian. We wanted to show what happens when you max out what you do with it every day in your salon. It’s great practice for any professional. The most important thing is to give yourself control.”

While the designs are beautifully avant garde, they are all rooted in classic shapes tied to the Gatsby era and artistic influences, and they all represent the consumer hair trends and thermal styling techniques that Alvarez calls “textural transformation.”

The cover look is a classic bob taken to a thermal extreme, with futuristic, flatironed edge. The collection looks also channel the Art Deco combination of straight and curved lines, diamond patterns and overlapping layers, as well as Alvarez’s interpretation of French/Asian influences accented with heavy bangs and bobbed shapes.

To maintain opulent, extreme and future themes, he used a silver fashion palette, marrying $6,000 Gucci couture gowns with $40 jewelry from Top Shop.

One thing Alvarez isn’t superstitious about is sharing his ideas and his influences.

“I’m blessed with having always had a network of people who have helped me curate a certain aesthetic in art, fashion, music, design—you name it. I’ve always passed along what I’ve discovered to my team members, to stylists who come to our education.”

Alvarez is now using social media to expand that network even more (search and like “Luis Alvarez, Aquage Co-Founder” on Facebook.)

“People who are secure in their art form always share and reveal their sources. Every week, I’ll be posting something that inspires artistry and ultimately our craft as hairdressers,” he promises. “We’ll keep looking forward.”

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