His collections make us swoon and his awards and allocations make us wonder how he finds time to do it all. In fact, as we write this piece on Robert, he is busy putting his final touches on his entries for this year’s British Hairdressing Awards. He’s a bit of a…brainteaser for us, you can say, and you’ll see why when we share some of his various collections and images below. We honestly have no idea what’s going on inside that creative mind of his, and we’re okay with that.
When Robert isn’t standing behind the chair whilst owning and operating his UK-based salon, Metropolis, he’s creating and constantly pushing his own personal creative limits by developing truly unique, avant-garde and fashion-forward collections and imagery. Robert makes us dizzy and speechless, and in a good way, and when we received a stockpile of his collections and images, it was as if time stood still because it was in that moment we saw someone doing something different. Finally! Rejoice! A-to-theMen Thank You!
You could learn a lot from Robert Masciave and his collections…
Each one has a unique look and accompanying story. Les Écorchés is an exploration of what a fictional tribe would look like. “My imagined tribe is unified in look and behaviour yet comprised of unique characters; exotic yet authentic, violent and beautiful. The white painted scalp simulates the ‘ecorches’ effect whilst their white facial brand marks each as an elegant warrior of my strange, savage tribe.” It was born from him asking himself, “If I had a tribe, what would they do and, most importantly, what would they wear?” When you ask yourself internal questions, the answers come to fruition when you take them off the creative path of imagination and wonder.
And each one is more than just eye candy—they feed you brain and make you contemplate your own existence, the world around you and the society and culture in which you live in. A true example of this is with Amen, a collection we featured here on Industrie that explores how religious influences in art, beauty and fashion make a powerful, and more than often, a controversial statement. When you create something that sparks conversation, you’ve given your audience more than just a pretty model to look at.
Robert is also quite resourceful and imaginative in terms of clothing and accessories. For his collection Semper Eadem, his ultimate goal was to “layer cultures upon cultures to a point where one is unable to distinguish where they come from and what they stand for.” To achieve this, he dressed them in Elizabethan-era clothes and merged their hair with taxidermy wings to create natural looking pieces. The hair appears to naturally grow on the model in a similar way that horns do on animals. Now, here’s the true beauty of all this. These models were created for a live stage presentation for Alternative Hair Show in London. Each one took to the stage, like dark guardian angels, to the beat of a master Kodo drummer. He did more than just put a model on the stage with great hair and made sure she knew how to walk in heels. He created an experience.
Creating collections is also a learning process for those involved. Despite his creative talents and exceptional execution of hairdressing, Robert is still learning and continuously evolving his techniques and skills. When we asked him what he was most proud of in regards to his Nymph collection, he said, “It was on the shoot that I made major breakthroughs and the discovery of many techniques that I am still using now.” By pushing his own limits and being diligent with executing his vision into a finished product, he was able to take his creative talents to the next level. He even shared with us that the inspiration behind this collection was mythical creatures of the sea and the merging of different elements, and he chose to play with shapes and textures of things that “freak him out like seafood, spiders, and jellyfish.” By coming face-to-face with revulsion, he was able to challenge himself and excel from it.
So why do hairdressers and creative beings like Robert Masciave create collections? Often it is to turn an idea into a reality. A thought that wakes them in the middle of the night that turns into a mood board that results in phone calls and emails being made to photographers, makeup artists, studios and wardrobe stylists. The mind cannot rest until the finished product is in hand.
In order for a collection to be great is the hair needs to be…great. The cutting and styling of the hair need to be on point and completely lens-worthy as we’ve seen with Les Écorchés, Amen and Nymph, and here with his collection Gunslinger. It also has to speak volume on a stage like Semper Eadem.
But let us not forget about the hair color. Spectrum, the collection that won Robert the title of Best Southern Hairdresser of the Year 2015 at the prestigious British Hairdressing Awards, is one that caught our eye so much that one of his images provided inspiration for this month’s Industrie coloring book page. What makes this collection stand out the most for us is how it is its own being. It isn’t as avant-garde as the others we’ve explored and shared with you today. Spectrum shows how important and necessary color placement and formulas are for an exceptional cut and style.
What Robert has taught us is that to really impact your audience, you have to take yourself completely and utterly out of your own comfort zone. To make your audience think, your images need to tell a story, one that doesn’t require words or a description. Your creation needs to spark an internal fire of contemplation, conversation, and curious wonder. And in order to do all of this, your vision needs to be clear, your cutting, coloring, and styling skills need to be fine tuned and you need to trust yourself along the process no matter how long it takes.
We’ve given you just a small glimpse into some of these collections and will be sharing more images from Les Écorchés, Amen, Semper Eadem and Spectrum on Instagram over the course of this month. Please follow us and enjoy the visual journey we’re about to share with you all.
But before you leave this article, share with us in the comments below which collection or image you’ve enjoyed the most.