Several months ago, my friend Emily Cook approached me with an idea to collaborate with her on a photo shoot. Emily is a paper maker, and co-founder (with fellow paper maker Flora Shum) of Paperhouse Studio in Toronto. Located in Artscape Youngplace, a converted school-turned-cultural hub, Paperhouse Studio is a magical place, filled with colours and textures and some pretty badass equipment for all types of papermaking.
Emily's idea was simple yet brilliant: she wanted to start making handmade paper hair fascinators, and she wanted me to create some hairstyles for her to showcase them! I was of course totally keen to take part, and after a few months of scheduling challenges (we're busy ladies!) we finally got together on Monday, August 18th for some creative collaboration.
Emily sent me some photos of her fascinators in advance so that I could plan styles around them, and it's a good thing that she did, because I had originally planned a whole vintage theme, but when I saw how modern and ethereal the pieces are, I completely changed my mind!
Emily and I are very fortunate to be friends with a multi-talented visual artist, Stephanie Avery, who generously offered her services as photographer, and four of my lovely friends cheerfully loaned me their hair for the afternoon. We're both extremely grateful to Steph and to Liz, Amanda H, Amanda S, and Kenin for helping us out with our project!
The afternoon went like this: Steph arrived just as I was finishing up with Liz, my first model, and went outside with her to find some fun locations for photos, and in the meantime, I began styling Amanda H's hair. Once she was done, it was her turn to go out with Steph while I began Kenin's hair, and so on! It was a pretty good system and I think Steph got some incredible shots in the areas surrounding Artscape Youngplace.
I wanted the various looks to reflect realistic bridal styles while at the same time complementing Emily's designs. I wanted a variety (not all updos, not all curls) so I chose a loose braided updo for Liz, flowing curls with fishtail braids for Amanda H., a modern take on a 1920s faux bob for Kenin (I've been watching a lot of Downton Abbey lately!), and a low chignon with pincurl details for Amanda S.
I had so much fun with this photo shoot - Emily was totally game for anything, and her pieces are so beautiful that it was really easy to find styles to allow them to shine. After I was finished styling Amanda S's hair, since she was my final model I got to come along on the photo shoot with Steph and see the process (and provide touch ups and fascinator changes as needed).
One of my favourite things to watch on YouTube is hair tutorials. There are so many creative people out there who are willing to share their ideas and skills! I'll probably blog about them all over time, but today I just finished practicing a tutorial from Cute Girls Hairstyles, a YouTube channel featuring a very stylish mom, Mindy, who demonstrates her amazing braiding skills on her many gorgeous daughters (and on herself, from time to time). If you're a braiding geek like I am, I highly recommend watching a few of her videos! She has a variety of tutorials, from beginner to advanced, and her instructions are easy to follow. Today I was practicing using this tutorial for a Dutch flower braid. I thought it would be a fun style for a flower girl, or it could be a girly, whimsical look for a bride too!
Poor Angus is still a bit fuzzy from the last updo I gave her.
I like the way it turned out, though Angus's hair is a bit shorter than the girl in the tutorial, so it became more of a side braid situation. I might try this on myself today! We'll see if my hair is long enough yet (I've been growing it out forever, it seems)...
I finally ordered myself a hairdressing mannequin so that I can experiment at home without constantly having to bug my friends to be guinea pigs! It (she?) arrived today and there was a pretty subtle hint on the box as to what I should call it (her?):
"Angus". It suits her, don't you think? And of course that name will always remind me of this classic Monty Python sketch (my brother and I were practically raised on Monty Python).
Anyway. I figured I might have some fun experimenting and post some of my work on this blog occasionally! Today, after setting Angus up on my dining room table, I did a bit of braiding and came up with something cute.
Simple & classic chignon with a fancy lil' Dutch braid on the side. I do love braiding. If you specifically ask for braids as part of your wedding updo, you'll definitely win my heart! :)