If you’ve read this blog before/watched any of my YouTube videos/seen my Instagram ever, you’ll know how lazy I am when it comes to styling my hair. With that in mind, it was music to my ears to hear “undone” and “natural texture” become backstage buzzwords at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia over the last week. Heat styling was kept to a minimum, hair was effortlessly sexy, and there was a huge emphasis on using texturising products to add movement to natural hair.
Here are my favourite runway looks from MBFWA 2017, and how you can recreate each style from home.
Hair director, John Pulitano
“The look for today was youthful, ethereal, playful. We want to transport the girls to a really beautiful place in Italy where they’re picking lemons in the groves- it has this really organic feel, linens, shells on the buttons, it’s really organic.
We really wanted to create an organic look. We did that by applying Redken Rootful to dry hair, which is pretty much a staple product because you can create anything with it. We used it by finger drying hair which really brought out all the natural texture and then we used a technique where we curled the hair but we curled it with a flat iron. We tapped the waves into the hair, rather than curling because what we wanted was a flat finish, not rounded, romantic curls. We weren’t doing romanticism- we want the girls’ hair to just float away when she walks out.
Next we used Redken Windblown. It’s like a light hairspray and a dry shampoo all in one. We sprayed that everywhere and then we started brushing the hair through. The good thing about it is if you don’t brush the curls through you’re gonna go to a beachy look- we don’t want beachy hair, so we brushed it through.
When the girls are ready to [walk the runway] I’m going to brush the hair through to bring out those flyaways and spray a bit of Redken Fashion Work 12 around the front so the hair looks as though it’s billowing out. Fashion Work 12 is a great hairspray to use both backstage and for consumer styling because you can brush it out. It’s a hairspray without any stickiness.
The good thing about those products is that they all have a powdery finish. Rootful dries powdery, Windblown dries powdery, and Fashion Work 12 dries powdery. The good thing about powder is that if it goes a bit flat, you can give it a little brush through, even using your hands and it’ll sit back up. If your styling products are sticky it’s a different story. If you’re using a bodybuilding product that’s sticky, it’s just the wrong move straight away because then if your head gets a little hot the products start to get gluggy and then you need to come back in again with a dry shampoo to make it powdery. The only time I would use a sticky product is if I was going for a wet look.
If you wanted to recreate this at home you can really just spray in some Rootful, tuck your hair behind your ears then let [your hair] dry naturally. Once it’s three quarters dried, get your hair dryer out and dry it off, then maybe tap a few curls in and finish with windblown.”
HANSEN & GRETEL
Hair Director, Marie Cain
“The inspiration behind Hansen and Gretel is that really effortless French girl. It’s all about celebrating their individuality and their individual textures. Not every girl is going to walk down the runway looking exactly the same.
The ultimate thing that we’re working with is just making sure everything is quite matte with more of a chalky texture but still that sort of sea salty, natural look. Not chalky in that it looks dry- we still want the hair to look floaty and light. It’s still beautiful and glamorous, but it’s not glamorous in a typical sense because it’s quite cool and undone.
You’ll see a lot of girls in the show have got curls in their hair. That’s because we really want to make their natural texture be the highlight of what their hair is and not try and make it something it’s not.
We’ve prepped a lot with Redken Pillow Proof Blow Drying Spray. That’s just to kind of wet down and give the hair a bit of pliability. The hero products today are Redken Rootful and Redken Fashion Waves. Fashion Waves is my go-to product because it’s got a really light to medium hold and it’s a really workable spray. It’s amazing if you’re only going to have one product in your cupboard that’s your real go-to product.
As you can imagine the girls are coming from a lot of other shows so sometimes to get that healthy, natural look in the hair is the biggest challenge because they’ve had gel, hairspray, you name it and it’s been used in there. With that comes the challenge of breaking product down so we’ve really tried to keep the hair looking nourished hence why we’ve used the Pillow Proof, then we’re going through with a flatiron on a really low heat to just try and manipulate the hair to look like its natural texture. By adding that little bit of heat it just smooths the cuticle down a little bit more and just gives the hair a bit more polish to make it look more runway ready.
To finish with we’re using Redken Windblown, which is a really light, chalky hairspray. It’s almost like a hybrid of a dry shampoo but it’s better than that because it has a bit of hold in there too to give you some nice texture.”
MICHAEL LO SORDO
Hair Director, Philip Barwick
“What we wanted our theme was to have a simple, cool, natural, interfered with look. With some of the girls we’re working with their natural curls. We’re looking at what suits their individual faces- these girls are all so awesome that they can wear side parts, centre parts, whatever, but sometimes it’s really nice to play on that natural variation of a theme. We want the girls to just look as though they’ve walked in a party or down to the beach, and their hair just does what it does.
Across the board we’ve used our Redken Diamond Oil. It delivers this beautiful sheen. We’ve used that really super sparingly, there’s not much of it needed at all which is fantastic. We then use a little bit of Redken Rootfulwhere we want to gain a slight control over the hair. It is traditionally used as a volumiser, but it adds a really great texture to the hair as well.
The other hero product of the day would be our Redken Windblown 05. It’s a great product to give the impression of naturalness and that lightness to the hair. It’s the quintessential modern hairspray, if you will, because it’s a texture spray as well as giving a little bit of hold.
What we are doing is using really large barrel tongs to get some idea of movement through the front of the hair. We’re also doing a heat setting technique which is basically this- whenever you apply heat to hair and set it into a different shape, you’re setting the hair. How we’re doing that with some of the girls with long hair is we’re giving them that direction we want at the front and then we’re heating it up and putting it in an old fashioned, if you will, hairnet. It’s essentially a hairnet with perforations through it, and then what we do is put some heat through that and twisting it around so all the ends are included, then we wrap it around itself. When it comes out we’ve got this really soft movement. We’ve taken what is a really old technique and we’ve re-contextualised it.”
Hair Director, Paloma Rose Garcia
“The [Christopher Esber Resort ’17] collection was really about the strong woman. Super modern. She’s meant to look very literally as though she has just come out of the shower and scraped her fingers through her hair.
I love that the hair is really undone and raw. We’re not looking at something polished.
We’ve gone with the natural texture of the hair. If the hair is really straight we might add some texture, if it’s really curly we might pull it back a bit. Redken Mess Around 10 Disrupting Cream Paste is the key product which we used through the top to slick all the hair back, and the rest of the hair is meant to look really natural. Simple as that.”
WE ARE KINDRED
Hair Director, Richard Kavanagh
“What we’ve done for We Are Kindred is imagined a girl dancing in the Caribbean. She’s there on holiday on her own, she feels amazing and powerful, she’s just dancing by herself and loving life. You know those moments where you girls get really hot and you absentmindedly twist the hair back out of the way to give yourself some more room to carry on? That’s the idea, and that was the starting point.
We’ve prepped the hair to make it feel like it’s really lived in. We’ve worked with a combination of products depending on each girl’s texture, pulling from a number of different products for each look. We’ve mainly worked with Redken mousses, styling products and sea salt sprays to get that right texture in there.
We’ve used a curling wand to get just a little bit of bend in the hair, and we’ve twisted the hair back and have pinned it below the neck. Then what we’re doing is working with Redken One United All-In-One Multi-Benefit Treatment, which is an all in one leave in conditioner, styling spray and taming spray, and we’re just working that around the hairline to get that feel of the hair looking just a bit sweaty. Then it’s just hair around the face, and it’s easy, effortless and really sexy.
Hair Directors, Dmitri Papas and Justin Pace
“With today’s look for the Swimwear show, we wanted to come up with a really natural, Australian beachy look. The whole look is about the girls appearing as though they’ve gone for a swim at the beach, they’ve just come out of the water and they’re just standing their in their swimwear and their hair is drying under the Australian sun.
The way we prepped the hair was using Redken Rootful and Redken Iron Shape, and we’ve just been working with middle parts but natural hair. We’re packing on the product and just working with different hair textures. We wanted it to be more natural, not a set look. We want every girl to look like they’ve been for a swim and they’ve just walked up the beach.
We actually were planning on starting with heat styling but we decided against it in the end because we just liked the way the hair looked without it. We liked it, so we went with it.”