In the day to day life of a pro hairdresser, creative urges get set aside to make way for “just a trim” or “basically just the same as last time” (so guilty, sorry), which is why, as undoubtedly highly creative people, it’s pretty epic to get the chance to go a bit wild.

In conjunction with New Zealand Fashion Week and on opening night, Monday 24th August, D&M Hair Design, Fabrik, Ryder, Servilles and Toni & Guy will be putting on five separate shows as part of Exhibit. It’s the first time an event of this type has been put on in New Zealand – giving some of our top hair stylists the opportunity to put on a show with no restrictions around creativity. Each participating salon will be given just five minutes to put on an elaborate display of what inspires and drives them as a collective.

The show is headed by hair veterans Andrea and Stephen Cockle. Both with extensive backgrounds in the hairdressing sector, Stephen as a stylist and Andrea in management, the pair fell in love with hairdressing and each other in the late 90s. After spending time in London they returned to New Zealand only to find that the industry, was missing something that London had – a forum for hairdressers to come together and explore their creativity with hair freely.

“When we came home we found it really disheartening that the industry had become so fragmented,” says Andrea. “Only the salons with strong brand alignment were given the opportunities to present, while smaller salons carry so much unrecognised talent without the platform to prove themselves.”

To fill that gap, Stephen and Andrea have created Exhibit – a show where hairdressers are given a unique opportunity to explore the non-quintessential elements of the creative art of hair, to inspire and to be inspired, to get new ideas and to be enlightened in a whole new way.

We caught up with the stylists for a quick chat before the event…

Danny Pato @ D&M
Greg Murrell @ Ryder
Bronwyn Illingworth @ Toni & Guy
Jamie Dryden @ Fabrik
Raymond Robinson @ Servilles

Can you tell us a little about what we can expect to see from you on the night?
DP: You can expect to see tulle, vinyl, feathers and smoke. A group creative hair show is obviously not something that’s been seen at NZ Fashion Week before, so I’m not sure anyone really has any idea what to expect. We’ve only got a few short minutes of catwalk time, and we’re taking half of ours up just setting the scene.
GM: Our show will be bold and theatrical and it examines perceptions of ideals in feminine beauty.
BI: We want to show something that really screamed Toni & Guy. As a company, we’ve been the major hair sponsors for London Fashion Week for over 23 seasons now, so it seemed an obvious fit to show nine of the stronger looks from the last couple of seasons. There will be beautiful editorial hair with a mix of clean/shiny looks and distressed textures. No bells and whistles, just a simple, clean runway show.
JD: You can expect to see hair like you’ve never seen before. We’re always looking at what the possibilities of hair are. Our show may not be the trendiest but you’ll leave wondering how we did that.
RR: It’s a bit of a mash-up of what’s really inspiring me at the moment. Think couture seventies afros meets Yohji Yamamoto minimalism.

Where did you get inspiration for the look you’re creating?
DP: While we’ve drawn on many sources of inspiration for this show, the core idea is a dark ballet – fragile, beautiful and haunting. It’s called ‘Fallen Raven’. There are references to Samurai and to bondage. We’ve given nods to Blade Runner and to the Ballets Russes. It’s pretty dark. The beauty of the Exhibit concept is that it is creativity unrestrained. It’s pure artistic expression. Andrea and Stephen are absolute heroes for bringing it to life.
GM: One of our team conceived the idea in his head and our creative team enthusiastically embraced it.
BI: We were asked to show something that represented our brand – we are known for our work at London Fashion Week – so this was a clear place for inspiration.
JD: From a number of things we’ve done in the past. Skulls, stitches and balls, all made from hair. Our latest idea though was nature-inspired, which originated from the fact we strive for sustainability and we wanted to make our clients aware of this.

What are some of the key products you’ll use and how/why?
DP: Oribe Royal Blowout – to treat, repair and soften models’ hair at the start of styling. It’s the ultimate prep spray for beautiful hair. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – it’s the cult Oribe session product. Think sexy, voluminous texture in a can. We’ll be using it to create lift and fullness in about half of our looks. Oribe Superfine Hair Spray – a flexible working and finishing hairspray that we’ll be pretty much using on everyone. I love Superfine because it’s completely brushable and flexible, with a healthy-looking sheer finish and no tacky residue.
GM: Davines More Inside Medium Hairspray for a workable hold.
BI: Wella SP Range Perfect Hair with some Luxe Oil for a really smooth shiny finish, topped with the Sebastian Shine Define to give extra shine with hold. Texture Maker to give a versatile, textured matte finish so the hair becomes easy to manipulate into different shapes. Definitely can’t do without a mousse from either the Sebastian or Wella range. When doing editorial hair it’s vital you have a good base to be able to control the hair, and mousse does this.
JD: Super glue and cheap hairspray, as no movement is good movement. For our three commerical looks we’ve used R+Co.
RR: The key products we’ll be using to create our looks include Wella Professionals Sculpt Force Flubber Gel, Mirror Polish Shine Serum and a LOT of hairspray! Think big…

Tickets for EXHIBIT available here.

Images via Servilles, Fabrik and D&M.

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