September was without a doubt one of our creative team’s busiest months this year, writes Sharon Watson. Weeks of planning and prepping for our Gangs showcase and then straight into organising our evening and hair creations as part of the fabulous Directory 15 series of style events.
Now in its second year, Directory 15 is the brainchild of the amazing Nuala Meenahan (a client and dear friend of ours at Stafford Hair) and it is definitely one of my favourite events in the salon calendar. Billed as the Belfast alternative to fashion week, the event runs over three nights and consists of fashion shows, hair and make-up masterclasses and awards to celebrate the unique style and fashion of real, local women.
The first event saw Paul and I give away some of our salon tips and tricks to a packed audience at the Ivory Restaurant. Armed with our favourite products from Alfaparf’s Semi Delino range (all of which are available in salon) Paul demonstrated how to achieve the perfect undone blow dry in minutes using the Eco Friendly Volume Mousse, and showed how, with just a few spritzes of the Liquid Diamond Cristalli Spray, lank and dull hair can shine as bright as diamond. All the products from the Semi Delino range are paraben, paraffin and sulphate-free, and with shine and colour fix technology as a key component throughout the range, it ticks all the boxes for me as a staple part of any homecare regime for my clients.
Thursday evening’s Directory 15 event at Riddel Hall, Stranmillis, was a fashion show with a difference. Evelyn Brandt showcased the main key trends for this autumn: graphic prints, cocooning and ‘the new blue’. But rather than your run-of-the-mill catwalk show, each collection was following by demonstrations of how to wear each key piece and transform outfits from day to night. Make-up artist Judy Wong, who has worked with Beyoncé and Kanye West, was also on hand to guide the audience on how to create the perfect smoky eye, and the ‘power lip’, using products from the Decoderm make-up range, created by Alfaparf Milano. I’ve used the products myself and on a few clients, and you can trust me when I say you are going to want to stock up on a few items for your make-up bag. We will be introducing Decoderm to the salon soon, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for its launch.
And so to Friday evening’s finale. As with any big event for which our creative team have been asked to style hair, a large part of ensuring the evening goes smoothly and efficiently is forward planning. With Leisa leading the team, the models arrived at the salon throughout the day to have their hair prepped. This involved taking small sections of the hair, curling with the Cloud 9 straighteners or wand, depending on the hair type (the wand is best for finer hair), then twisting the curl back up and pinning into place. A good spray of the Semi Delino Illuminating Hairspray to set, and the girls were whisked off to make-up.
It was only when our team arrived at Riddel Hall that the hair transformations began to take place. Leisa, Amy, Danielle, Nicole and Lena got to work removing the pins and teasing the hair out into big, lustrous curls. With any fashion, the hair must complement and work well with the styling, and with the first looks having a more bohemian vibe, Leisa wanted to create looks that were a more modern version of the typical boho curl. Hair was gently back-brushed (back-brushing rather than combing gives a much softer edge), then pinned up to create a halo of soft texture that flowed as the models took to the catwalk.
The second look took in a more graphic feel, so within a minute hair became more structured, pinned tighter to the nape of the neck, but retaining the femininity and softness. As the millinery of Gráinne Maher was a key collection, again the hair had to be swiftly transformed to suit each individual amazing headpiece.
The final collection of the night was that of Una Rodden, a designer whose work I really admire. Beautiful, ethereal, fluid silk dresses printed with mythical, Celtic-inspired artwork by Sara O'Neill, teamed with high, twisted, but again, soft hair so as not to detract from the stunning craftsmanship of her pieces.
It was a fitting climax to a style-fuelled evening. The whole team were amazing and the buzz backstage was something else. We’re all looking forward to Directory 16 and getting set for Christmas in the salon.
Remember, all the products used on the night are available in the salon, along with a full range of Cloud 9 styling products. Call in and speak to me if you are looking for advice on any products or any other aspect of haircare.