In Hamilton there is a song "The Room Where it Happens". The song goes "No one else was in the room where it happened... no one really knows how the game is played, the art of the trade, how the sausage gets made, we just assume that it happens, but no one else is in the room where it happens..." Lin-Manuel Miranda
Well, I want to take you to that room... Backstage at NYFW is one of those places for me, its that place where trends and fashion becomes life. It's the room where it happens; I want to be in that room, and I want to take you with me.
NYFW first appeared in my vision boards and goal lists as early as 2011. As a cosmetology student at Paul Mitchell the School Houston I was starting to dream big. I started making plans, taking classes and spending countless hours on family, friends, clients and mannequins learning and trying new techniques. I vocalized my intentions and set to work.
In October of 2019, after attending an Oribe grooming class in NYC, I received the call. I had an official invitation to work with the Oribe team back stage at NYMD, the start of NYFW fall/winter 2020.
Flash forward to February 3rd, 2020, I arrive to the venue across from Hudson Yards a little before 7 am. My first show is David Hart with the key stylist as Kien Hoang. We had all male models and the goal was to give natural texture. I was honored to work side by side a team of amazing Oribe stylists. The team consisted of Ashley Brecken, Jami Symon, Shanelle Brittney and Luke Taylor. The room was beautiful. Big, empty room with white walls, amazing windows with lots of light.
I get assigned my first model. Cute kid by the name of Jamison. Picture a young man, who just rolled out of bed; hair split flat on the back of his head (he was obviously, sleeping on his back) a slight bit of oil near the scalp and the ends were curly and frizzy. First we steamed out the oil using foundation mist and my blow drier and my hands. Then Kien showed me how to tame ringlets with the flat iron to give it just a natural appearing wave. I learned great technique on utilizing natural texture as inspiration, however taming it and giving the shape desired. We set the hair using Imperable and then used no crease pins to set the hair in place.
I thought I was done with the first show when this polite voice in a foreign accent, asked me if I could style his hair... next thing I knew I was doing the hair of the underwear models! Kien just told me to make him look dapper, I mean, really? that's a no fail mission ;) I misted his hair with water then used a generous amount of Oribe Gel Serum to blow dry in place. Once I had the hair blow dried in place I layered a little more of the gel serum, then Oribe Rough Luxury soft to hold everything in place.
After breaking for lunch, my second show was Todd Hessert with Key hairstylist Christian Ceja-Compin, team of Coby Alcantar, Jami Symon and Jenelle Oldham.
For this show we had male and female models. The look for the females was a little time consuming. We flat ironed thin sections with Royal Blowout, then applied Oribe Rough Luxury at the scalp to comb each hair in place. We wanted the hair to be directed away from the face and needed to stay there for a couple hours. I was grateful for the Oribe Journey to Mastery classes because they really set me up for success, it was interesting to see variations of the techniques taught in the Oribe J2M classes. It was amazing to watch Christian work and I had a lot of fun paired up with Jenelle and we worked on two models together. I learned from each hairdresser I worked with that day.
One thing I love about
Oribe is everyone assists each other, no one is above holding hair and assisting, passing product or whatever needs to be done.
Another neat trick I learned... the boy pictured about had a lot of product in his hair from a previous show, so we broke it down with Royal Blowout and flat ironed it flatter. Then Jennelle showed me a really neat trick to give it cool texture... she just kind of ruffled and pinched the hair to give it more of a lived in look.
All in all, my first New York Fashion Week experience was pretty bad ass. I am super stoked about going back in September. It is an honor to work with and learn from such legends. Being back in the salon for a week it has been so fun to approach hair with a slightly different touch and an improved eye. I'm inspired and ready to share! I'm grateful for each and everyone of my clients who make these dreams possible.
This is only the beginning...