These mad hair days...
TRENDS The tousled, lived-in look is in
Every year four top international hair designers sit with their counterparts from across the globe to sample the pulse of different looks and finally create their own defining trends for the coming season.
These designers, working with Schwarzkopf, pride themselves in not just homing in on current trends but also looking ahead. So expect to see their creations on the ramps of prestigious fashion weeks in the next season.
India is a bit behind, admits Schwarzkopf's General Manager Shekar Sethu; we apparently take about six to seven months to adapt these looks. "But India is quickly becoming fashion conscious, people see and then they do," he explains.
One of Schwarzkopf's trainers educator, salon business guru and hair stylist par excellence Antony Whitaker was in Bangalore to demonstrate the four defining cuts of Spring-Summer 2005 to salon hairdressers.
This season announces four distinct looks. Our favourite is the Rocker Girl cut, defined as "subversive rock 'n' roll". This trend direction "takes the spirit of Elvis and styles it to contemporary taste. Retro, attitude, rebellion with nipped-in waists, cropped jeans and braces. This is the harsh side of femininity, accentuated by dishevelled hair and pouting lips."
There's also the Global cut, defined as "an exotic fusion of ethnic detail and urban chic; an eclectic mix of foreign and familiar". Then there's Kaleidoscope, a take off on the "uber feminine fusion of colours and abstract shapes". Finally, the Nu Street look for boys where "sport meets casual".
The four essential looks are inspired by catwalk trends, but they can be modified and altered to suit different people and sensibilities. Antony was able to demonstrate how Indians' preference for long hair can be incorporated into the otherwise short look of the Kaleidoscope cut, for instance.
Indians don't need much encouragement to embrace new, often radical, haircuts, says Antony. "These are street looks," he says about what he's just demonstrated: the equivalent of prêt in clothing.
He pulls out a large book and shows off some striking cuts, with big, permed hair and mad swirls to show "couture cuts".
The Four Essential Looks could easily be modified to become Essential Look India, with some taming and lengthening. "But some Indians don't need encouragement," Antony insists. "The youngsters in nightclubs listening to global music, they want these looks but just don't know how to get them."
Although Whitaker has only been to India for a week last year, he gets a sense of Indian street fashion from his models and people he sees at airports. Enough to conclude: "These looks don't really take a lot of adapting; we all speak the same language, eat MacDonalds, dress similar... there's a total globalisation."
At his sessions, he's noticed women in traditional saris seated next to women in "fusion outfits" (kameez and parallel pants). "There's a combination of Western and Indian," he says. "These kids are global kids. I'm not finding them in saris and asking them to wear a rock chick look." He singles out one of his models. She's bent over her bag in a tiny top and low slung jeans.
"She saw the Rocker Girl cut and said `that's me'," says Antony. "I didn't have to sell it to her; she identified with it completely. And there're others like her."
And the one common theme running through this season's trends is the tousled look, decides Antony after some thought.
"When people come out of a salon, they walk up the block, look at their reflection in a shop window and muss up their hair to make it look lived-in; sort of like a bad hair cut," he'd told the audience earlier. "Hairdressers tend to make hair look too perfect, and people just want it to look lived-in." So there you have it. The look this season: tousled, lived-in, slightly mad; sort of like a bad hair cut.
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