Monday, 15 July 2013

Countryphile Style- Hair and Make-up

Countryphile Style, and introduction to the massively talented Zoe Della Rocca who defined the hair and make up style for this collection. When I first wrote up my proposal for Brighton Fashion Week I had to submit 'looks' for the hair and make-up for the collection: now, I'm not that into hair and make-up so after submitting my original concept of make up as 'uber English Rose' and the hair as 'Equine dressage plaits' months and months ago, I got a surprise visit from Zoe Della Rocca who had been hanging out in America at Burning Man and doing other supercool stuff like the supercool chick she is.

Original hair and make-up concepts copyright: C. Nicholson

After telling her what I was up to for Brighton Fashion Week and what Countryphile was all about Zoe brought her high octane energy to the project. Well, it was exciting and invigorating to have someone on board who has such a great vision for styling as sometimes I am far too close to my collection to think about anything but the clothes.

For the fashion show we had to pick the overlying look as it would have been impossible to have created a different look for each model, but originally Zoe had come up with so many great idea's to compliment my clothes that I just have to share the full vision with you, because it was immense.

But first we had to sit down and refine the concepts.

Make up,
After many hours of banter we chose to concentrate on the tweed/bronze, black and gold as our colour palette with some possible wine red toning that matched the lining of the jackets. Then we scrapped the wine lips in favour of nude with some loose gold leaf to bring an edge of faded opulence and because we wanted the drama of the eyes to play out without interference of adding an extra bold colour. Highlighting down the forehead, nose and high on the cheekbones in opulent white and contouring in bronze to hollow out the cheeks gave us a strong base to play out our equine inspired theme with dark dramatic eyes and huge eyelashes for the finishing touches.

Face map copyright: Z Della Rocca

Zoe bought the Eyelure lashes, which were stipulated by the Brighton Fashion Week team and then set about making them unique by adding gold dust and peacock feathers...each pair tailored to one of four looks as created by Zoe. We didn't find out until the week before the show that all eyelashes had to be vetted by the Benefit make-up team, and luckily they passed them. Lucky because we had already made them and if we couldn't have used them I would have got pretty upset.

There were four looks for the hair all relating to the overall concepts of equine dressage or ruined aristocrat and one look for the men. Each involved some gold 'marcel wave' pin in hair pieces which Zoe and I had designed and Zoe had made especially for the show. We had originally planned to weave in extra hair for volume on top of wadding for some extreme height and Zoe had sourced some real horse hair tails for some super long pony tails. Zoe had worked tirelessly to produce some amazing concepts and pieces and, had worked it all out. Due to sponsorship issues Zoe was not able to join me backstage on the day to complete the looks or assist in any final touches which was hugely disappointing for us both.
Hair concepts: Countryphile

On the day of the show it proved far too complex and time consuming to do all the looks as Brighton Fashion Week's industrious hair and make-up team had in excess of 66 models to prepare. In the end they had to outsource to do the braids so Emma Hellier and her super talented team did the honours on the day. We ended up with one style consisting of a lifted plait that began as a mega quiff, rose high over the head in a plait and then finished with two plaited tails down the back as long as each models hair would allow. The hair and make up for the show looked great on the night, but it didn't compare to what we had hoped to achieve so we will save these greater plans for photo shoots to follow.

The nail concepts were to use the tweed style fabric used for the tailoring and pheasant feathers that tied in with the whole collection. Some feather pieces are yet to be added to the collection and will, no doubt be used when we start shooting for the website. Again, Zoe took on the task with great enthusiasm and successfully produced some amazing false nails. Again, on the day this just didn't happen so we'll be saving that for the future also. Hence no would spoil the surprise.

I have really enjoyed working with Ms Zoe Della Rocca, and cannot state fully enough how her support and enthusiasm have enriched the culmination of the Countryphile Collection. To commission Zoe as creative director, make up artist or stylist extraordinaire here are her contact details:

Zoe website:
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