Ecaille: How to Say it, How to Use it

Trends can be incredibly useful if you know how to  handle them properly. Here, we will break down the prediction for Spring/Summer 2016 from Wella International Trendvision; what it is, how it came to be and how you could potentially put it to work for you.


We talk a lot about developing a personal style—not just in looks, but in life and work as well. Blindly following prescribed trends promotes a homogenization that leads us on the path to creative extinction. If everyone was an impressionist, for example, it wouldn’t be called impressionism anymore, it would just be painting—wouldn’t it—and we would miss out on a lot of other really fantastic artistic movements simply because everyone wanted to follow a trend that only lead down one path of evolution.

That doesn’t mean that “trend” has to be a four letter word.

What is it?

Essentially, a trend is the marriage between inspiration and technique. Molten Ecaille—the Wella trend for SS/16— for example, was inspired by precious metals in their liquid state. Combine the movement, sheen, and palette of materials like copper, bronze, platinum, black pearl and rose gold with a fresh application of a hair painting technique and voila—you have a trend.

Ecaille, for those not familiar, is a fancy word for “tortoiseshell.” Well, actually it’s a French word for “flake,” used to describe a mottled look, similar to how the scales of a fish blend tones together in a scattered but cohesive way. Why? Because “ecaille” sounds much more luxurious than tortoiseshell—which calls to mind either the glasses of a hated college professor or the dry bumpy, home carried on the back of a dry, bumpy reptile— and mottled sounds absolutely dreadful. Ecaille, it is.SMoreau Quote (1) The look itself is quite lovely if the colors used to create it are chosen well. Many a celebrity with in-demand hair color swears by ecaille (a certain brazilian supermodel and an ex-TV star known for her love of stilettos, for example) as it can mimic the way that light hits hair when it’s under water. Picture that in your mind for a moment, the way that sunlight hits water and scatters—gorgeous, no?

Combining a painting technique that highlights the movement of light with an inspiration that is all about movement and a glittery-sheen can only have stunning results.

Can I use it?

Yes. You can use this trend in a few different ways—first of all, for pure inspiration. Take a moment to appreciate the amount of hard work and creativity that it takes to develop a trend prediction like this and admire how seamlessly the inspiration and the technique integrate with one another. Truly, this trend is the work of an artist.*

Next, let’s pull it into its two respective pieces: the Ecaille technique can be used with any assortment of shades, not just metallics. As a matter of fact, imagine the dimension you could create on dark brunettes without having to worry about the “stripe-y effect.”


Now for the metallics, don’t be afraid of metallic colors. We are not talking harsh silvers and yellow-golds from ‘60s era B-movies. The metallic shades of today are more tonal and easier to integrate with natural shades while imparting just the right amount of extra shine. Think “glittering,” not glitter.

While we certainly don’t encourage that everyone follows the same trend, to the same style conclusion, for the same length of time, we do encourage you to study trends as they are predicted and released into the world of style. A trend, taken literally, is a constraint; but taken as an inspiration, a springboard for creative addition and exploration—that is its true power. It is the start of a creative conversation that has no ending, only boundless possibilities for interpretation.

Or, if that all sounds completely ridiculous to you, we invite you to create your own. Now you know how: pick an inspiration and pair it with a technique.

Let’s see what you come up with.

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*that artist’s name, in the case of this collection for Wella Professionals anyways, is Christoph-Nicholas Biot.


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