As promised, the in-depth expose of Jillian Chambers’, owner and stylist of Grotto Hair Studio, time in Paris, France.
What does the stock market, Louis Vuitton, Google and a front cover model of Vogue magazine all have in common? Ask Jillian Chambers, owner and stylist of Grotto Hair Studio in Stratford, Ontario. After a three-day, invitation-only L’Oreal Professionnel class in Paris, France, Jillian learned that the common denominator between economics, purses and the internet was hair.
Previously, Jillian has had opportunity to travel to Rome and Berlin through L’Oreal Professionnel, primarily for instruction on cutting hair. However, the four short days spent in Paris were all-encompassing, allowing Jillian the privilege to attend classes that taught how hair, make-up, fashion and photography relate with each other. As the class was by invitation only, comprised of platform artists or artistic directors from L’Oreal Professionnel, it was an extreme honour for Jillian, simply a L’Oreal salon owner, to attend.
Paris is known as a city of fashion, runways and models. Day one of classes did not disappoint as Jillian spent the day learning about future trends in fashion and hair and how certain influences predict what is or will be up and coming. Interestingly enough, the stock market’s affect on the beauty industry is monumental. For example, when the stock market is low, the general public tends to be more cautious and contained. In turn, low economic times translates into conservative fashion and hair, be that longer hem-lines or longer length in hair. In contrast, when the stock market soars, people tend to embrace more liberal, flamboyant trends, such as shorter hair and shorter hem-lines.
While economic standings have a large influence over the beauty industry, another major predictor of upcoming trends is the common search engine. Statisticians generate studies based on the most common search terms that the general public looks up. How does this affect hair and fashion? Jillian learned that how many times people search specific terms related to fashion and hair, such as “ombre” or “blonde,” generation of upcoming trends are formulated by the most popular search terms entered. It is ironic to note that it’s not necessarily high-end designers who are formulating what the public will accept as current and “in-style.” Rather, the general public unknowingly decides what direction fashion and hair will lean towards, based solely on the most commonly search items on Google.
Day two revealed to Jillian behind-the-scenes design progress before the looks have even hit the runway. A tour of Institut Francais de la Mode, or IFM, showcased many potential designs being proposed to different high-end companies, such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci. A tour of Harcourt Studios, an exclusive photography school who only do 200 photo shoots a year, presented the effects of colour and lighting to achieve specific looks.
A hands-on, first-of-its-kind in the beauty indsutry class at Pin-Up Hair Studio was provided with world-renowned hairstylist, Bruno Weppe, the following day. Weppe has been popularized in the beauty industry for his work on celebrities for front page covers of Vogue, Elle and other major fashion magazines. At Pin-Up Hair Studio, Jillian learned about the editorial work that is done for each photo shoot. While it is commonly known that the models on the front of magazines are “touched up,” Jillian experienced exactly what tricks and illusions are used to achieve the end result. Wigs, extensions, clip-on bangs, or even spray paint are commonly used on the glossy front cover models whose hair is coveted world-wide. In conjunction with the illusionary revelation of photo shoots, Weppe also taught how to set the hair properly so that more than one desired look can be produced. Proper instruction was given on how to use specific hair products for the particular hair type of each model.
While Jillian was mesmerized at how hair integrates with seemingly un-related elements, such as the stock market and internet, the connections that are established between world-renowned stylists and L’Oreal Professionnel educators remains integral to the development of Grotto Hair Studio. However, safe to say, one will never observe the upcoming trends in the fashion industry without recalling the sway of the fiscal market, the influence of Google, or the semblance of illusionary tricks on cover page models.