There are certain aspirations a stylist will hope for in their career. Aspirations that, with hard work and tenacity, come to fruition when suddenly one day your boss calls you to ask ‘Want to go to Paris Fashion Week?’ This is exactly what happened to our Technical Stylist Dawn Cooper, who had the privilege of assisting Creative Director Renya Xydis for Wella Professional AU and NZ for Toni Maticevski’s 2018 Resort show, linking onto the end of couture week.
Here, Dawn fills us in on all the details of the show….
How did you feel when you were asked to join Renya in Paris?
I actually auditioned for New York Fashion Week because I have ten years of editorial styling experience, and Gino thought I’d be a good fit. Although I didn’t get picked for the five who went, I did do the hair at Bec and Bridge back in Sydney for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. It was after seeing my work there that the Paris opportunity came up. I was so excited to see the city and be part of this show – I’m such a big fan of Toni Maticevski and Renya. It’s such a dream come true.
What are some of your personal highlights?
We flew in on the Friday and had that free. Then I did a prep day on Saturday, so went to the Wella Paris Studios. They hadn’t decided on the finished look yet! I met Toni’s mum and sister, they were amazing. He is so down to earth and I can see where he gets it from. It was his dream to do a show in Paris, so it really felt like we were all part of something very special. We were briefed on the final decided look in a secret location, underground somewhere in the city. We had 32 models and four hours to complete it, so then I worked with the head stylist, Darren to do the final touches. Doing this I really felt like an asset to the team, we found a great rhythm and that was definitely a highlight.
What was the brief for the show?
We were told it was ‘Tomboy Heiress’. So, edgy It girls who are cool and laidback, but glamorous. Think, Alexa Chung – she embodies what he was after. The hair was undone and very textured, a sort of contrast to his gowns. We used a lot of gel and blasted, tonged and shook the hair so it gave off a ‘I woke up like this’ feel. The show had a bit of an ‘80s edge too – big glasses!
What’s the difference between salons, editorial and catwalk for you?
Being in the show, I think the biggest difference is that it’s so much faster. In editorial you get a lot longer with your model, but it’s a lot harder to make them look amazing (the camera reveals all! And you don’t get all the angles). In salons, clients generally want what they see on the catwalk but a more palatable version. Catwalk is dictated by the clothes and you’ve only got 30 minutes to make an impact for their 10 second walk.
What was your favourite individual look in the show?
There was one girl I loved, she had the total look. She was just a bit different to the other girls, with shorter hair and really striking features. But, I just love Toni’s work in general. It makes it easier as a hairdresser because sometimes the clothes don’t make sense, but for this show it was all a very clear story being told and I was able to help bring that vision to life.