2015 Hair Expo Exclusive: Emerging Hairdresser of the Year Finalist Chung Yang-Su
There is no elaborate set, no over the top clothing, no thumping music, just a white backdrop and a model speaking directly to the camera. “I’d rather some passion, even if it’s a screaming fight. Anything but indifference,” says a very young Kate Moss in a stark Calvin Klein CK Be commercial circa 1996. This commercial, along with the minimalist aesthetics of the time, impressed a young Chung-Yang Su so much that it would resurface many years later in his Emerging Hairdresser of the Year finalist collection for Sydney Hair Expo.
It was the simplicity of the commercial and the way that it highlighted the model’s look and personality, rather than attempting to cover it up, that so intrigued Su.
I’ve always remembered that ad and was intrigued by its simplicity, or maybe just the beauty of Kate Moss. Later, I found the campaign was shot by photographer Richard Avedon so I started researching his work.
From his research, Su came to understand that what made Avedon’s work so striking was, in fact, its simplicity. It was less about the brand and adopting a style and more about the models, their uniqueness and emotions, their shape and individual style. Based on this premise, Su set about creating this collection titled “Revival.” He focused on capturing the uniqueness of each model, by highlighting the shape of the hair. It took roughly 2-3 months to take the concept from sketches and research to full-blown reality, working with makeup artist Sarah Baxter and stylist Linda Vergura, Su’s long time go-to’s for collaboration. As Sarah handpicks all of the models for the collections, Su feels incredibly lucky to work with with such a dedicated team.
Although the focus is on simplicity, putting this collection together was not without its own complications. Between travel, personal life issues and difficulties staying focused, the road to completion was anything but simple. The task that this collection set out to conquer was no small feat either. Translating high-fashion concepts into wearable trends can be tricky and subjective, but this work took the challenge and ran with it. With its industrial feel and black and white finish, this collection takes street fashion to another level. Su accomplished this by taking trends from the street and current fashion and mixing them with hair styles from different cultures, eras and subcultures. When it comes to making these looks work for everyday, he reminds us that it’s all open to interpretation,
“It’s like translating catwalk fashion to everyday—you don’t need to wear everything like the models do. It’s about taking the essence of what you see and making it your own.”
Hair: Chung-Yang Su
Makeup: Sarah Baxter
Fashion Stylist: Linda Vergura
Photography: Chung-Yang Su