Watch Richard and me do our final tour of the North East, all in the name of hair =)
Hello Everyone! Just wanted to share the official video from the Christian Siriano show, just to follow up on my previous post about working on his show with Sebastian Professional. As you can see, a completely stunning and flawless collection.
Aaaah, finally back to Dayton to relax for a week before we set out for Texas! I’ve been meaning to post about this super fun event, but when you put nearly 7,000 miles on your car in 18 days, it usually means you’ve been kinda busy 😉 But as much as Richard and I have enjoyed the gypsy life, we are looking forward to settling down once we get to Austin.
The Monday after working the Christian Siriano show we held an awesome even in the Meatpacking District in NYC. It was such a privilege to be a part of it. Basically, Sebastian Professional set up shop for the day and invited passers-by to walk through a wind tunnel (a simulated hair emergency) and then have one of the Sebastian artists fix their hair. We had most of the Sebastian Core team there, plus some awesome Design Team members and of course, me and Heather Rae!
One of the coolest parts of the event was that almost all of my clients for the day were from different countries! I had Germany, France, Russia, Ukraine, Canada and South Korea all represented, plus people from different parts of the United States. I always have fun meeting people from near and far so it was pretty awesome.
Also, once people had their hair fixed they could pose at the photo station and share their photos for some free Sebastian fix-it kits. But these weren’t just any photo stations… I’d have to say, we at Sebastian Professional had a lot of fun with these photos….. Enjoy!
Christina McCarver and Me:
Some sweet college freshman who came after their drawing class:
Omar, Celso and Me:
More of me and Omar:
And finally, I absolutely adored this girl, visiting NYC from South Korea:
Hello! I’m chilling in Canada with Richard right now. We have put somewhere around 2,500 miles on the car in the last ten days between Dayton, Philly, NYC, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and now Toronto. Fall is just beginning and I am pretty cold! But last week in New York it still felt like summer.
First off, being in New York for New York Fashion Week has been a major dream/goal for me since I started doing hair a few weeks ago. I worked and even organized a few shows in Pittsburgh, but didn’t feel like I really had the right to say I had runway experience until it was in New York. And it just so happened that this year I would be in between jobs and cities during fashion week. I had nothing else to be doing, so I had no excuse not to try my hardest and email everyone who I thought might be helpful about getting to fashion week. And I did. And I went. 🙂
I feel like once a stylist has done a few fashion weeks it just becomes a part of what they do, but I have to imagine that everyone remembers there first one. So I was beyond thrilled to help with such an incredible show. It was so surreal to be working on Christian Siriano’s styling team with so many top artists from Sebastian Professional.
Anthony Cole did an incredible job designing a very modern, lived in, yet glamorous look for Siriano’s gorgeous gowns. Really, the dresses were beyond beautiful and beyond time. They had flow, they had structure, just the right amount of sparkle and skin when you wanted it. I am just so thankful to have been able to be a part of such a gorgeous collection and to work beside such an incredible team: Anthony Cole, Omar Antonio, Marylle Koken, Diva Poulos, Luis Payne, Heather Rae, Celso Enrique, Sasha Zhogi and, of course, Christina McCarver. Thank you all so much for always being welcoming and wonderful.
Below are some photos, but there are better photos HERE.
Anthony Cole teaching us the style.
PS more to come from that weekend, but check out #sebastiansavedmystyle on your social media for some fun pics from our event in the Meatpacking District a few days later!
Yes, there were times where I felt like I had flippers for hands. Yes, I was mentally exhausted from so much new information. And yes, it was the perfect start to 2014, at least in terms of my career.
First off, I left Pittsburgh in the nick of time! I have never experienced subzero temperatures so I was thrilled to be flying away as Pittsburgh thermometers were descending to unfamiliar depths. But with the unusual iciness it was not easy to get to Los Angeles! But after a few risks and a few miracles, I made it, and was soon sharing a shuttle to Woodland Hills with some of my favorites: Meghan, Josh and Tony! Such a positive and fun group to be around. They are so easy to be around, it’s easy for me to forget that I’d just met them last summer and that this training was technically my first.
Shortly after, I was reunited with Anthony, Isa, Matthew, Oscar and Heather Rae the next morning, and of course getting to see all of the core team, Christina and Carole, and a bunch of other cool dudes on Urban and Design Team that I don’t know quite as well.
Training started with a wonderful talk from Stephen Moody, the charismatic and successful Brit who has been all throughout recent hair history. His stage presence was inspiring. Then we jumped into the nitty gritty and got our hands on the blades and the shears and I felt like I had flippers for hands, trying so hard to get the cuts perfect. Over the next few days, more cuts, some styling and them presenting in pairs.
Throughout training, and really the last few months, I have felt weighed down by big decisions, most of the decisions circling around the concept of who I want to be. The last day of training I had a bit of a moment, where a lot clicked for me. We had an acting coach come in to guide us through some skits. I had a lot of fun with it and was very eager to jump up and do everything. The coach had started to rely on me as a goto Ginny pig. But then all of a sudden he wanted us to speak about things we loved. Could be anything, silly, deep, person, place, hobby, anything. I cycled through my brain thinking about what I could actually talk about without getting too emotional or sounding too crazy and nothing seemed like it was really representing me and really, at the heart of the matter, I am an extremely private person. Ultimately, I am fairly open to any specifics but always afraid of being type cast, put in a box.
Realizing how much I actually did hate talking about myself was somewhat eye opening. Of course the coach called on me first, and I gave him the, don’tmakemego eyes, and he let me off the hook for awhile. When everyone else went I thought a lot about what a love and what represents me as a person and as a hair stylist. I came up with a pretty good answer, I ended up not sharing it though because I got a good opportunity to talk about storing food in my purse on end and took the easy out.
But what I would’ve said is that what I love is helping people find themselves. I love looking in someone’s eyes and seeing what they need and knowing when I can give them what they need and knowing when they need time. I love healing people who hurt, distracting people from pain, getting people to think about what is important to them, which often times makes them realize they have most if not everything they need. I love making people feel the truth that they are special.
And that is why I started doing hair.
This was my entry for the Vidal Sassoon/Beauty Changes Lives Scholarship Competition. The competition grants ten winners an opportunity to train at one of the Sassoon academies in North America, providing $5,000 of support for travel, expenses and tuition.
I was not selected as a winner, but this entry was still a labor of love and friends and family are still coming to me and remarking on ways it inspired them, so I wanted to share it today. Enjoy!
Greetings Pittsburgh friends!
Next Saturday, November 30, my former teacher/current boss, Derek Piekarski, will be hosting a fundraiser for City of Hope at his new salon space. City of Hope and the P&G Professional Hair Care lines have been partnering to search for a cure for diabetes with the Hope is in Style Campaign. Come on out if you are in town that night, hang out with a bunch of cool people, drink some beer, and help support the cause!
Diabetes is a disease that hits particularly close to home for me. I grew up in a family with a lot of diabetics, and I always assumed everyone had diabetic relatives until I went away to college and realized how many misconceptions there are regarding diabetes. Most of my aunts and uncles are diabetic, on both sides of my family, as well as three out of my four grandparents, one parent and one sibling.
As many of you know, I am biracial so the two sides of my extended family have very little in common. My mother is Chinese, and one of the few non-diabetics in her family. Two of her siblings are diabetic, but are quite slim/petite. They have Type 1 Diabetes. They eat well, and mostly always have, yet they still need to watch carefully (including making sure they don’t eat too much fruit or other sources of natural sugar). Her little brother was diabetic from a young age, and despite his healthy lifestyle and decades of taking insulin he is awaiting a new kidney and liver. He is in his mid-fifties with two teenage sons.
The Caucasian side of my family is ripe with diabetes. They mostly have Type 2. Both of my grandparents on this side of the family were diabetic. My grandparents both died in their sixties. And more recently, my father’s older sister passed away, also in her late sixties, after at least a decade of regular in home dialysis treatments. Dialysis is a common treatment for diabetics. Basically you are hooked up to a machine that filters your blood because your organs are no longer able to.
My father is also diabetic, but with the help of my mother has always worked very, very hard to eat well, and is on his way to being the first in his immediate family to make it to 70 in a few years. He does have the genetic predisposition towards diabetes, but he is also a Vietnam Veteran and Veteran’s Affairs acknowledges a spike in diabetes for Vietnam Veterans due to exposure to Agent Orange. He probably would have been diabetic eventually regardless, but who can say for sure whether he may have had a few more years disease free? And regardless is it is true for him, countless other veterans may have diabetes due to Agent Orange exposure.
During my sister’s first pregnancy she was diagnosed with Type 3 Diabetes, which is the only sort of diabetes that isn’t necessarily lifelong. Type 3 develops while a woman is pregnant and then usually goes away after, but it is a warning sign that the woman may develop Type 2 later on.
I tell clients that I try to eat well because I am worried about diabetes, and they always say, “But you are so petite!” And I am, but I have seen diabetes in every shape and size and it is not only no fun, it is also deadly.
Hello everyone! I have been neglecting this blog rather badly lately. So just wanted to leave a quick post on what I have been up to.
First off, I was in Oregon for a couple weeks helping my friend get married and visiting family and kicking back and relaxing by a lake.
After that I had my audition for the Sebastian Urban Team and also organized a hair and makeup team for my friends stocking company, Stocking Noir.
More recently I have been working on my Vidal Sassoon Scholarship Contest video entry, for $5,000 to use for Sassoon training. Elysia, my stocking friend, and her boyfriend Neil have been helping out a great deal, lending their time and talents.
Coming up right away in October I have my NAHA shoot and then I will be styling on stage at Intercoiffure in NYC.
Lots of excitement on its way!
In my first post about Connect, I spoke a little about feeling refreshed creatively, but almost as dramatically, I felt refreshed socially and emotionally. I remembered a lot about what makes me who I am and why I got into this industry in the first place.
Growing up, I saw myself as a healer, a source of comfort for those around me. To me, that was the most important quality I held. I thrived in hospitals, homeless shelters, funeral homes. I wanted to work in social justice or the mental health field. I went to college thinking I would work with victims of substance abuse. Much too much for someone so tender hearted. Fields that require tough love, when I was always more into the soft sorts.
At Connect I felt very hyper aware of the people around me and their energy was contagious. I am naturally fairly quiet but I love quality nonverbal communication. A touch on the arm, the right look in the eye, the correct degree of smile for any given moment. People always harp on remembering people’s name and I am almost decent at it, but what is never mentioned is how you can look someone in the eye and have them know that you know exactly who they are, and I think that is far more important than eye contact. I have known a lot of names for people I didn’t really know, and I think that is something people can feel.
Anyway, Connect gave me so much joy it just reminded me that that is what I want to give to my clients. I want to make them comfortable, excited. I want them to feel apart of something. I want them to feel alive and welcome and eager for change. I want them to be fearless.
One thing I thought a lot about this week is how small a percentage of someone’s personality is actually that person, mostly it is how they are reacting to their surroundings, which could result in actions that are quite contrary to how they normally are. I was keenly aware of how my actions could help people have a better day, a better experience, especially the first day of training when there was a lot of nervous energy lingering in the room. I remembered that paying attention to and helping others is one of the most important parts of my job, and that it is one of the reasons that I chose this line of work. It unlocks a part of myself and a part in others that can really change… Everything.
So my last post about Connect was more about me and less about what we learned. This post will be a little about what we learned, but mostly you will have to wait and see the awesome collection we have in store for next season!
One of the coolest things about this collection was the versatility of the cuts. There is a short, medium and long cut, all of them perfect for fearless clients that want something just a little bit different. There was a lot of playing around with more editorial styles and using products in ways we generally don’t… Mousse forte on dry hair as more of a polish and gel forte on dry hair as more of a tacky pomade! Amazing! Helps the client get more out of their liquid tools.
Also some awesome new ways to use cellophanes which I have been playing with in the salon on myself and other stylists. A lot of new options and techniques.
And of course, always new ways to use shears and blades.
Get excited for the new collection, coming your way Fall 2013.