Industry News

Partying OutSide My Box- Part 1

Patrick McIvor | August 9, 2011 | 10:01 AM

I have been lucky to have had so many of opportunities in my life. Some are unique experiences, some help me grow exponentially, some teach me and some challenge me, but all make my life better by letting me learn. In April, I learned that the Matrix Artistic Directors’ Team was being given the privilege of creating a new collection for the United States market. Normally, this is created by a team of Global Artistic Directors with usually one of the teams being represented by the USA and the rest of the team assembled with Matrix Artists from around the world. It just so happens that those artists are people like Errol Douglas, Hooker & Young, Benny Tognini, Paul Falltrick, as well as Canadian and other Hairdressers of the Year from around the world. It is an unbelievable team and an intimidating room to walk into when you get to create together. For 2012 though, the unique opportunity came together to invite the US Artistic Directors to create a collection for the US, something that Logics has always done, but not Matrix. So, with some preliminary information about the inspiration for the shoot (I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you, it’s coming out 2012) we met as a team right before Premiere Orlando.

I have to tell you, the hairs of fear stood up on the back of my neck, which is both good and bad. I love being pushed, but I don't always like the direction I am going and this one was scaring me. The one thing I knew immediately was I was asked to do a shoot with the Matrix Artistic Directors - Ammon Carver, Chrystofer Benson, Nick Stenson, Brian and Sandra Smith, Daniel Rodan and Nicholas French. If I count even some what correctly - Ammon Carver, finalist 2 times NAHA; Chrystofer Benson, winner and 3 time finalist NAHA, plus Star Award Winner; Brian and Sandra Smith, winners NAHA; Nicholas French has won so many both British and US awards I can't list them all; plus Nick Stenson whose pictures were my favorite for NAHA this year; and myself. So, I definitely had an "oh shoot" moment and thought, “Ok, what am I going to do?”

You know when you are worried and then it gets worse? Well, usually when a challenge comes along I think, "Ok I got this" and I get to work. I figure it out and work to overcome the challenge until I get it right. This time it was "oh shoot" all over again times 10 (I apologize again that I can not tell you the inspiration but you will be able to see it all in February 2012. And, now you'll know the lesson I learned, so I hope that's cool.) Back to the story, in our brief, based on our given inspirations, we needed to create 3 looks: one beautiful (ok, got that), one crazy (ok, I can be a little crazy) and one that is crazier (ok you know that screeching sound cartoons make when something crazy is said? That's what my mind did). Then I thought, "Whatchyou talkin’ bout Willis?" I am sitting here with NAHA winners, finalists and people who have created some of the most amazing, crazy work I have ever seen. I do "pretty" really well and I do salonable ideas really well, but crazy does not end up on guest’s heads and that is what I do. Even when I was in New York with Rodney Cutler and Nick Arrojo, we did models, actresses and the Victoria Secret girls, which are not known for their avant garde crazy hair. Ok, so now what. Well, the first thing I decided was that I was going to learn and the second thing was I wanted to collaborate. I did not want it to be "my idea" plus I don't style hair, so I needed a partner…someone who could make me better.

I asked our team’s Fashion Director, Nathan Rosenkranz, to be my partner because I knew he could learn and make my ideas better too. Before joining our team, Nathan really just cut hair and left finishing to his assistant or even the guest if they wanted, but since joining our team he has focused and excelled at finishing. Nate won Matrix Mannequin Mania, styles for dozens of photo shoots, including consumer magazines and industry publications like Modern Salon, and has worked backstage at more than 80 shows at New York City Fashion Week, including leading 7 For All Mankind and Claire Pettibone. The thing is, fashion hairstyling is different from industry finishes. In fashion, fuzz and exaggerated back combing with a hat stuck on top can work on the runway and even a shoot, because ultimately it is about the clothes. In our industry it is about HAIR and where we can take it that makes things interesting, new and well done…and did I point out the group we were shooting with?

So, Nathan and I sat down, came up with a cool concept and set off on our own to experiment with ideas to bring our concept to life. I came up with an idea of making two colors that would melt into each other and a bunch of formulas to test for the idea. Now, when I test haircolor ideas I always work in Red, White and Black (SoRed R, V-Light with 20 vol or Higher and SoColor or ColorSync Black) this way I can see the result easily of every placement and brush stroke, this helps me decide if I would like it done in pretty colors. With my family away, I went home after work at 8pm and colored one test weft of the haircolor formulas I wanted to try and colored 6 other wefts with SoColor Blue Additions- formula 1 and Color Sync Gold Booster - formula 2. The blue is blue and the gold is yellow so it was be easy for my eye to see what the transition would be with different colors from the test formula weft because the 6 test wefts would have different transitions of green because of the test colors. Since green is the easiest color for the eye to see (unless you’re color blind), I thought I could more easily explain my idea in a creative meeting with the Artistic Team. I colored the wefts, loved all the variations, saw cool transitions and had great formulas with the exception of one on my test weft to present. I went into see my friends and showed them the test color weft and the 6 formulas tested, then I showed them the test wefts for the technique, which I could see they did not like. As we spoke I realized they thought that the green created by the two colors I choose in my tests was the intended color for the look and by this time they were both holding my test formula weft saying, "You should do this!" Well, remember that screeching sound from the cartoon? My brain just made it again...

Next time...tape, pasties, an ice cream scoop and a candle.

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