This time of year, fashion weeks are prime focuses in the fashion industry. During these fall months, creatives are quickly making last-minute touches and edits to new collections and styles to present to audiences of thousands. This year, three talented and goal-driven Denver artists are scheduled to showcase at the international and majestic Paris Fashion Week. C.R. Lee, Encounter Hat Co and Denver hair artist, Cecelia Kirby, will team up to provide a breathtaking and unforgettable runway show. Scheduled to present on Sunday, September 29 at the Ritz Hotel, these creative artists are sure to provide a show for the ages.
C.R. Lee photography by Madison McMullen.
303: Can you please tell us how you got involved in Paris Fashion Week?
Cecelia Kirby: I started my fashion journey with Charlie Price of Beauty Underground. I participated with the team at New York Fashion Week. From there, I continued down the 303 Fashion Week path, volunteering and participating at shows. My work online was noticed by Fashion Week Studios via Instagram. They reached out wanting to have me for an upcoming show in Paris. As we got discussing ideas and came closer to the date, I was offered the hair lead position. The first show was a success and I have been working with them ever since. Traveling to Paris twice a year managing the hair team.
303: What should audiences expect to see with your hairstyling during Paris Fashion Week and is there a specific hair trend you are gravitating toward?
CK: The final looks have not been chosen. I can say sleek styles and hair accessories are on the final sheet of selections. Before submitting potential looks to the designers, I put together styles based on the cut, texture and mood of garments. We are adding to the vision of the designers’ showcase. I use Pinterest as a tool to organize outlines for the hair looks.
303: Can you describe your process when deciding on what specific hairstyle(s) to showcase for the runway?
CK: We want the style to be elegant, flattering and simple. My job is to enhance the design with the hair, not overshadow the wardrobe. For the Avant-Garde showcase, we are allowed a little more creative license. This is where we bring it up a notch.
I create an image board of looks for each showcase, when a look is selected, I deliver a very specific outline for the stylists on the hair team — all looks must be streamlined. It can be difficult with different artists, 30 [or more] models per show, different hair textures and the short amount of time. For me, pulling it all together is the fun of the whole process.
303: Are runway hairstyles different than editorial or street style hairstyles? If so, how?
CK: Yes! The hairstyles selected for the runway are chosen to sell the designs to the buyers. The hair is not the centerpiece. For editorial hair, you are wanting to focus on interest, texture, movement and shape. Color is important, but many times to get a photo to really stand out, you are wanting the hair to grab the interest of the viewer. Detail, precision and skill.
303: With the fall season only a couple of months away, what hair trend are you most excited about and what trend are you tired of seeing?
CK: Long and sleek is what I’m excited to see. Glossy straight hair is back, as are simple top knots with oversized hair clips. I look forward to seeing what I can do with this behind the chair.
It’s hard to say what I am sick of seeing. A style is just a style until you put it to the right person. You can have an old outdated look, but it is exactly what brings someone else to life. It’s about shape, balance and adding your own unique modern twist.
303: As a prominent hair creative in the Denver area, what advice do you have for upcoming hair artists looking to get involved in your field?
CK: For fashion and runway, new stylists should get out from behind the chair. Collaborate! Build your community, as it is everything in this industry. Denver Fashion Week is such a great opportunity for stylists to get valuable experience, content and it opens doors to the runway world. Also, it is okay to kindly say “no” if a collaboration does not match what you are trying to build. And make sure you credit all involved. It shows professionalism and appreciation but can also ruin connections you’ve made. With posting work online you want to credit all artists involved. This is a business of relationships. Every head you touch, every person you work with is part of your community. Grow consciously and gratefully.
My other piece of advice for this industry is to find your “why.” There is a reason you have chosen this profession. We each have our own unique. Be mindful of your intention when selecting a salon to work for, or gig to take on. If you are driven and want to get closer to your ultimate goal, ask yourself “How would taking this on, help me in getting closer to where I want to be?”
As paths shift and change this can help guide you in the right direction. Having a good mentor can also prove to be important. I’ve had my Juno — Jules Juno — from day one and she is my rock.
Cecelia Kirby photography by MJ Kampe.
Encounter Hat Co
303: Going to Paris, you will have an idea of the model’s head sizes, but what happens if a hat doesn’t perfectly fit a model? How do you improvise in this type of situation?
303: In one word, can you define what fashion means to you?