Killer Hair in Miami - Blog by Steven Kelly

Steven Kelly of Auckland’s Killer Hair jetted off to the ‘Davines Worldwide Hair Tour’ in the fabulous city of Miami. Here’s Steves blow by blow account of what happened "On Tour’!

I’m feeling very lucky to be off to Miami to join in the three days that is the Davines Worldwide Hair Tour, an annual event that brings together the Davines family from all over the globe.

Along with my cousin Scott Buckingham of Dunedin’s ‘ScottBase Hairdressing’. we make up the kiwi contingent

Miami is a truly vibrant city, it has a huge Latin influence, incredible art deco buildings and a kind of tropical, relaxed glamour.

We stayed four nights at the conference hub – The iconic ‘Fontainebleau Hotel’, a five-star joint built in 1954 that has over the years played host to such famous celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. It is opulent and kinda mind-blowing – with 10 swimming pools!

Davines have their own hotel check-in and we’re given a bag with goodies and the all-important schedule for what was coming up. That evening was the intro dinner in the ballroom, 1400 hairdressers dressed to kill. We meet up with Davines NZ’s Mike Beauchamp and his mob and were welcomed by the Davines international crew.

Day 2

We’re off from the hotel to the Fillmore Miami Beach ‘Jackie Gleeson’ Theatre, where past performers include The Doors, The Who and Pink Floyd, but today it’s playing host to ‘The Great Davines Show’.

Brian and Kirsten from Denmark opened the show with eight male models. Lots of undercuts and asymmetrical shapes, an ‘80s feel. Then last year’s world style contest winner, Candice Wyatt-Minter of South Africa, sends out a collection which is heavily architectural, kind of geometry of hairdressing.

She spent many hours working on design and the result is pretty aggressive shapes, very arty and conceptual. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I admire the innovation. Check it out online, it’s called Avant Garde Frisvren 2012.

From there it was the final of the World Style contest, were we watched the finalists’ last hour to finish their looks – it was won by Canadian James Abu Ulba. Then something Davines is extremely passionate about – Eco Salon of the Year. It went to Chicago’s Circle Salon.

On stage next was Allilon, a London based hairdressing education company, to showcase their latest collection ‘Aces’. We watched a video of Angelo Pangalos whose life had seen some tragic events, however he is a regular at tube stations pulling his amazing card tricks in the hope of seeing a stranger smile.

His heart and courage was the inspiration behind ‘Aces’, based around the suits of playing cards and incorporating those shapes into hair design. The concept is pushing hair boundaries to say the least and it’s very couture hair, strong blunt shapes, perhaps more art than fashion but still very cool.

The next artist was the main event – Davines International Art Director, twice British Hairdresser of the Year, Angelo Seminara. To me he’s more than a rock star of hairdressing, he’s an astronaut!

The man is so humble and brilliant that Scott, myself and every other single person in the place were enthralled by his creativity.

He showed his techniques regarding long hair, very editorial and beautifully simple. His collections seem very complex but once broken down what initially had me perplexed was made very clear. His whole approach is to make it very easy, the genius is in the idea! He shared so much of his knowledge; he is a true master of hairdressing.

Three things he said in his Italian/ London accent stuck with me:

1. As it is in life you only get that which you put it, the more training and time you put into your hairdressing, the better the results.

2. Never be afraid to make mistakes.

3. Everything we need for inspiration and creation is in nature, just observe. Especially for the colour, patterns and shapes. Once you start really looking you never stop!

It finished with a show-stopping 20 models, incredible avant-garde hair floating around the stage in fluid costumes and rollerskates. Angelo had the house on its feet in a huge standing ovation.

After that everyone was jacked up on inspiration and ready to party!

An ‘80s Icon party at hot nightclub Nikki Beach where you literally move from inside to out on the sand. Scott and I bought with us our Top Gun costumes, with myself as Goose and Scotty was Maverick. There were lots of Madonnas, and hats off to The Incredible Hulk, the dude was painted green – nice commitment. So 1400 hairdressers, Mojito madness, pumping dancefloor, very cool!

Day 3

Trainwreck, it was hangover on a global scale. Back to the Jackie Gleeson Theatre for Look and Learns. Italian Christiano Cora who cut a graduated very blunt bob which somehow took over an hour, he had some great insights into hairdressing with pearlers such as ‘You must use two eyes’ and ‘Hairdressers need a mirror’.

We were treated to three razor cuts by Angelo. A short, medium and long. He went at it hammer and tongs, real fast, real simple. Wearable, textured, modern and he discussed not over working hair. He did a few more long hair looks and talked about what he had learnt in his time with Trevor Sorbie.

It all finished with a fashion forecast for 2012/ 2013 and for those that were faring better than us there was a bus tour of the art deco the city is famous for. That evening while waiting for a few others in one of the hotel’s many bars we had a most fortuitous meeting with the man himself. We were like a couple of awestruck teenagers and tried our best not to gush too much. Angelo who was also waiting was happy to chat and very interested in where we were from. Talented and gracious.

So with that we had seen all we came to see. We had met salon owners from Chicago, France, Ukraine, Canada, Sweden. It was awesome to feel part of the huge Davines global community and left Miami feeling pumped up, inspired and hungry for WWHT 2013 in Paris!

Words and images by Steven Kelly.