Submitting a collection in the Colour Technician category for Hair Expo is no easy feat. You have to be on top of your game, not only with your skills but also with your overall vision. As a rule, you cannot use hairpieces or extensions in your collection and you must enter an unedited shot to accompany each final image. It all comes down to using real hair and real hair color. Now imagine losing power the night before your photo shoot and having to finish coloring all your models’ hair by the light of your iPhone. That’s exactly what happened to Kristie Kesic and her team right before their salon sinks stopped draining and began flooding.
“The shopping center in which our salon is located in decided to turn all the power off due to renovations,” shared Kesic. “We had no choice but to push through using our iPhones for light. Turns out they can be pretty resourceful. That was until our basins started flooding and we had no choice but to leave. Luckily we have a salon in the city. We had to get the owner out of a movie to give us her key to get in. Long story short, we finished all the hair at about 11 pm and had a start time of 6 am the next morning. We look back and laugh about it now. We’ve dubbed it ‘The Curse of the Photo Shoot.’”
In spite of all the obstacles she faced, Kesic was able to bring her concept to life in the matter of four short months. What inspired her to create these fluid, captivatingly colorful images? Venice Beach, California.
“I was in Los Angeles last year and was inspired by the energy and the vibe, the oceanfront and virtual carnival,” she shared. “Venice Beach is known as the hangout for the creative and the artistic. It’s unlike any other place on Earth. It’s the Mecca for street performers with their tri-coloured hair and painted faces.
“The city’s graffiti is inundated with clashing colors, covering the facades of shop fronts, sprawling down onto all the lifeguard towers. By nightfall, the mood changes and all the people vanish. Venice Beach morphs from a colorful hive of activity to an inky, gritty corner of LA. The vivid graffiti and its vibrant currents are now modest, illuminated only through the shadows of stand-alone streetlights. As soon as I recognized these opposing sensations, I knew it was the perfect combination for a photo shoot.”
And low and behold, Kesic nailed it. In this collection, the hair shapes and textures are free and fluid, evoking movement to allow the hair to open up and reveal the color variations and layers. Color is soft and dreamlike. “Pastels are still one of the biggest trends,” said Kesic. “Each one of these
“Each one of these colors is a color of many shades and layers. You need to look deep within to see the multi-tones and I think that’s important in hair color. If one color is left basic it can lack life and soul. Creating depths gives it personality.”
Finding models that will let you alter their hairstyle, texture and color can often be a challenge. “Three of my models are salon staff members and two of them are my sister’s best friends,” she added. “The final model I actually found through social media.”
When we asked Kesic, “How can the inspiration from this shoot be translated into a wearable trend?” she summed it up perfectly with:
“You can take the colours and mix up the vibrancy to suit your clients. Best part is that it is all personalized and individual.”
Hair: Kristie Kesic & Stelios Papas
Colourists: Kristie Kesic
Photographer: Elizabeth Grinter at Illuminate Management
Makeup: Megan Braunberger
Fashion Stylist: Kristie Kesic