My First Fashion Week: A Salon Pro’s Experience at Jonathan Simkhai’s Hair Test

Give a girl the chance to go to New York Fashion Week, and she’ll be all smiles when she returns. But give a salon professional and a devoted beauty lover the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes of it all, and folks, that’s when you have stories to tell and experiences to share. To most of us here at Industrie, attending NYFW is something that happens on a regular basis (This isn’t a brag session – only stating the facts. You’ll see why). We’ve been immersed in the backstage hustle and bustle before and had the opportunities to sit front of house for the runway presentations, so when we were presented with the chance to attend some shows this year, we thought, “Hey, why not let someone else have a shot?” And more importantly, why not let the reader spend a day in the life of someone who hasn’t done it before, someone who has had “Go to NYFW” high on their bucket list. Wouldn’t reading their experience be more entertaining and insightful?

The answer to that is “Yes,” so we sent our resident salon pro Paige Weiss from Long Island and our resident “beauty lover” Robin Edwards from Chicago to provide coverage and become completely immersed in the excitement and experience. To kick it off, we’re going to let the pro Paige share with you all what she saw, learned, and felt from attending the hair test for the Jonathan Simkhai show. We were given this exclusive opportunity to attend this “before the backstage” roundtable discussion and hair test thanks to TIGI, the manufacturer and team responsible for providing hair styling. Below, Paige will walk you through the process and give you an idea of what is was like to be with Thomas Obsorn, VP of Education & Creative Director for TIGI Americas who is no stranger to NYFW:

Nestled in the corner studio of your typical Manhattan office building, was designer, Jonathan Simkhai’s, fashion studio. Covered in mood boards, model castings, and the looks ready to grace the runway for New York Fashion Week, the studio was bustling with creative minds in hair, makeup, manicures, and all things fashion. When I walked into the studio, the creative energy was almost visible. It felt a little like the calm before the storm. I instantly felt like I had stepped into the mind of the designer. While one team worked, another collaborated on other ideas. Watching all the artists work separately, but for one common goal was incredibly inspiring. From the fashion lining the walls, to the sea of nail polish sprawled out on the table, to TIGI’s toolbox of all things hair, the energy in the room was undeniable and the creativity was flowing.

Products lined up, tools plugged in, and ready to go, the TIGI team got straight to work on creating the hairstyle. Watching the TIGI stylists work together was like watching a well-oiled machine. Three stylists working as one to create a high fashion runway look was something out of a movie. Thomas Osborn smoothed the model’s hair and then sculpted a perfect ponytail, while the other two stylists added all the bells and whistles to the hair design. B hair sprayed and Adriana tied the hair tie, Thomas checked for balance; it was as if each one knew what the other was thinking. When the hair was complete, the stylists and Jonathan talked about improvements to the look, refining the silhouette, and creating more balance within the overall look.

Though the finished look from the round table was not the look that graced the runway (the final look was a feminine and romantic chignon), it was still very interesting to see how the looks were born and what kind of collaboration goes into making sure the designer’s overall ideas are achieved. Much like working with hair, each design element of the show is sectioned and smoothed out. It was incredibly interesting to see how all the different worlds collide and how similar, as artists, the minds work.

As Paige explained, the final look that was created was much different from what she witnessed at the hair test. This goes to show that sometimes it takes several revisions to make a concept and a vision come to life and how collaborating is all about working together.

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This look was inspired by the softer side of urban architecture. It’s a creative take on classic Americana – it’s feminine and romantic, with a slightly bohemian vibe that’s loose and casual. Combining elements of structure and freedom – as materialized in the collection – the hair look is soft, yet still polished.

– Thomas Osborn

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To create this final look from TIGI Catwalk & Thomas Osborn for Jonathan Simkhai’s NYFW show, follow these steps:

Step 1. Prep hair with CATWALK by TIGI Bodifying Spray to achieve volume and texture. Using a round brush, blow dry the front section of hair smooth, leaving natural movement in the ends and hair at the back.

Step 2. Next, gather hair loosely behind the shoulder, keeping tension light around the ears, and tie in a loose knot at the nape. Split “pony” into two again, and tie another knot, using a black elastic to secure.

Step 3. Once the knot is secured, separate with fingers while using pins to secure pieces of hair where desired.

Step 4. Set the look with CATWALK by TIGI Work It Hairspray.

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Photo Credits:

Final Looks: Alex Barron Hough

 

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