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I am a fashion editor. I suppose one goes into that profession because of a penchant for changing oneself; of making dreams come to life in the pages of a magazine. In a sense it is a way to take control and make a life better or –different.
One thing I have lost control of is my hair. No longer is it curling in pre-Raphaelite waves and swirls. As my face has changed into a longer version of itself and my mouth turns down even when I am happy, so my hair has become a mess of dead protein. I hate my hair and I spend loads of time and product getting it to this mediocre point. I should really keep in pulled back in a no –nonsense bun but something in me keeps up the fight. Day after day I try to regain control with magic potions and treatments but somehow I have lost my grove.
So when it was suggested that I go to Ouidad for a conditioning treatment I accepted –ho-hum. I had been to Ouidad and sometimes descended the elevator feeling great but other times the cuts I received were well—boring. They have always had great products that were still in my repertoire. It was time for a re-visit.
On a hot windy Friday I arrived at 36 West 57 Street in NYC. I recalled the softly lit waiting area but the bottles lined up like soldiers were expanded to include more recruits. It’s daunting to figure out which product to use for your hair type and how to use it. I get too tired and just go with the basics– but the questions remain. Do I use the hair cream before the gel? Rinse the conditioner out completely only to add a leave in after the rinse out one—that doesn’t make sense. And why do some products effectiveness quit working?
Apprehensive as I was, I pressed on. I changed into my nylon smock; I sat down in the chair and waited for Elena. Immediately I told her that I used the Mongongo oil from their new Salon Series, the night before and look at what a horror it wrought! She said that there would be someone to advise me about products after we were done.
Elena rolled over a wagon of spray bottles containing ochre-colored liquids and told me that each was a varying degree of keratin; not the dangerous Brazilian kind. After that there would be collagen and the cocktail would infuse and nourish my strands. She layered the golden serum in each section of hair then I was sent to the heat lamps. After a shampoo and I was off to see Jason, the stylist.
Jason walked me thru the steps to regain control of my tresses and he expressed this with passionate knowing. I wanted to believe, but I was faking it—I didn’t. He asked me to take notes and his seriousness made me take out my notebook.
1. NO TOWELS: Keep hairs very wet and do not wrap hair in a towel out of shower. Use an old white t-shirt if you need to.
2. RAKE AND SHAKE: Spread fingers as a rake and use 2-quarter size squirts of CLIMATE CONTROL HEAT AND HUMIDITY GEL. Rake through the hair. Starting with the middle of a ponytail down. Then shake out hair section by section to encourage curls.
3. THE WET SET: Hair must be wet to infuse moisture so use a spray bottle with water. He explained that the product was like a setting gel.
4. HEAT IT UP: Sit under dryer (which non of us have). And make sure your hair is completely dry before going to bed. The gel takes hours to dry so give it time. Once it is dry you can sleep on it.
5. FINALE: Flip head over and scrunch;
I have to admit that when my head popped up from its upside-down state, I blurted out “ I look so young” It was in a bit of heavenly shock. I actually had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe how good my hair looked and I couldn’t believe what I just said.
The photo of James and I doesn’t really do my curls justice. My hair was in the best condition it had been in years and I left with feeling renewed and gratified that I was right. If you keep at something for long enough, you will get results.
I am back to the daily struggle. My hair has never looked like it did at the salon, but I’ve not given up the fight. I keep calm and carry on. In hopes that I can regain that moment of glory when my hair looked as it once did. Maybe I used too much product, maybe too little? The battle is back and I am even more emboldened that I will find my way back to the land of glorious curls.
Its the year of the snake for Bulgari, the Italian jeweler, who opened their archival vault releasing bedazzled serpent time pieces. On 57th street in NYC, a massive glittering reptile clings to the facade in celebration. What a sight! Owning one of these pets will set you back a few years of your kid’s college tuition; they are one of a kind pieces. But they sell simpler serpents for those with more practical sensibilities. In my estimation the those will set you back a little less than $10,000.
How great is it to have a handbag designer make a bag with your New York slogan? That is exactly what RAFE’ did for me a several other stylish women in the media world. And what a thrill to be called a “muse” !! My saying is ” In New York we say YES and figure it out later”. The one of a kind bags are being auctioned off for charity @charitybuzz.com so go on and bid on one for Breast cancer cure.
The project is just beyond thrilling for me! Take a look at the video to see the launch party where the bags were revealed. It was a blast!
What’s this! ? For spring Prada is showing ink-blot floral prints on fur bags. At Celine in Paris, models walked the runway in mini-mouse pumps in mink. Kids are wearing fur lined moccasins slippers, “as if” they were actual shoes so why not take the idea to its style apex; a mink shoe. But would you really wear them on dirty NY streets? Up the subway stairs ? I can see the pleasure in petting your clutch at a cocktail party .
As unorthodox as it seems, fashion pushes our buttons and when it does you can be sure, you’ll soon be wearing that thing you thought was ridiculous. Give it some time.
Linked-in is crawling with stylists. There are so many that I have come to accept a definition change. It is true that the jobs that I am hired to do as a “stylist” or “fashion editor” are very different than the strictly photo shoot related styling jobs I was hired for in the past. I thought it would be interesting to hear some rules that used to govern my understanding of the profession. Stylists and stylist assistants are the hardest working jobs on a crew but they are a passionate and creative group. The payoff of seeing your work in print is worth all the shopping, hauling, and begging. Here are some of my rules for being a stylist, most still apply.
#1- Learn how to pack a box. I would tell prospective assistants this at the outset to separate the workers from the posers. Merchandise comes in and must go back from whence it came and clients depend on stylists to do this.
#2- Get used to early call times and late finishes. Whether you are on location or setting up at a studio before a big day it will be an early call. It could be as early as a 5am for sunrise shot and if it is summer and you are shooting in Europe it could go as late as 10pm when the photographer will grab the last gasp of sunset.
#3 –Putting looks together as your heart desires is the cherry on top. Most of the time clients are paying you to get into the head of their customer /reader and you have to style for that women or man. You’re not a blogger, you are a stylist.
#4. Have lots of options. You may be styling one page ad but the client wants to see 3 great looks. And if they don’t like those you better have 5 or 6 more options to show. Clients have no idea how you have to run around hauling clothes from here to there. They want to see you are worth the day rate. They want to be dazzled so have lots of choices.
#5- Get used to standing a lot. In the hot sun on a beach, on the rocky coast of a lake or at a studio, you have to stand there even if the photographer is torturing the model with click after click. You have to be there to fix a wrinkle or make sure the earring shows–all day-long.
#6 – Get clothes by any means necessary. Maybe you are styling a celebrity and all of the Gucci collection is in Europe at sales. Or Vogue has the look you want. Or you are styling a spring campaign with a small budget and spring is not in stores yet; the rental place has nothing. You will have to get clothing by “BBS”. That is beg borrow or steal. Not actual stealing but maybe taking from editorial shoot and bringing it to the advertising client. There is never a perfect time to secure the items you need.
#7- There is no such thing as an easy photo shoot. Photographers and agents will try to tell you this but for sure that is the kiss of death. There are meetings in which clients want to see the actual clothing, or they want to see photos of all the clothing– difficult. Maybe the client didn’t want to book you, the art director won that fight so daggers are thrown with their eyes. Not easy to win that one over. There can be up to 5 people you have to please, from to the agency, to the photographer, to the people at the brand: you’ll be the scapegoat for those battles. Or you have a tiny motor home in which 5 trunks of clothing and accessories need to find a home. Styling a photo shoot is rarely easy but always worth it.