‘Aspirational meets practical’, was the mission statement from designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for DKNY’s SS17 collection. The sporty-luxe, clean designs represented the pair’s vision for life in a futuristic place they called ‘Neo Soho’.
It was effortless and uncluttered, and Wella Professionals Global Creative Director, Eugene Souleiman‘s hair echoed the cool, urban theme.
“DKNY is a New York brand and New York is a melting pot, so they cast lots of very different kinds of girls in the show. What united them all was a sense of being young, cool and assertive. I didn’t want to detract from the girls’ personalities with hair that was too abstract. I wanted something very real: hair that had attitude but also a rawness. It was different for every individual girl, but I wanted them all to look strong,” said Eugene.
The Key Technique:
Eugene worked with the texture of each girl’s hair, not against it. For every model, he wanted a look that was clean and graphic, tough but also wearable. And simplicity was key – although it was simplicity that was easier said than done.
“Keeping it simple is one of the hardest things to do, but with simplicity comes a purity, honesty and integrity. It was about using product to enhance the texture of the hair, so that it looked natural – even though it wasn’t. I like the idea that you look at a hairstyle and know that something has been done, but you can’t work out what it is,” said Eugene.
Whilst playing up the diversity of the hair types in the show, Eugene created one particularly striking look for the girls with longer, straighter hair, styling it very flat on top, with a deep center parting. To create the look, Eugene first combed the hair flat to the head, section by section, using EIMI Stay Essential. He used one of his favorite products, EIMI Pearl Styler, to smooth the top. He created a deep, flat center parting, tucked the hair behind the ears in a perfectly drawn line, then encouraged texture and movement below with EIMI Sugar Lift.
“There was a trick with the EIMI Stay Essential. We didn’t spray it straight at the roots because that would create a line. Instead, we sprayed it from above, so the product was more dispersed. We combed it flat, section by section, with the hair sticking to the layer of hairspray underneath as we went along. I wanted it completely smooth, with no comb lines.“
“I used EIMI Pearl Styler on the roots to squash down any baby hairs that were poking out. EIMI Pearl Styler is my miracle product, it has a great balance of hold and shine, and it’s not too heavy so you can layer it over other products – it’s really good with a bit of gel for a subtle, strong hold. Then I sprayed EIMI Sugar Lift on the lower half of the hair to add a matt quality. This created two different textures in the style: a smooth silhouette on top, and more natural and raw below. It’s a really cool look, I love it,” said Eugene.
Photos: Getty Images