Models walked a winding runway for C/MEO Collective, circling and stepping between spherical wooden sculptures at the centre of the runway, with VIP guests and fashion addicts in full view. For this alluring runway show, Cloud 9 and hair director Lauren McCowan took the reins backstage, where curly hair reigned supreme, upstyles presented the ideal encapsulation of ‘Friday hair’ and individuality was key.

“The look today with all of the models is an extension of what we did last year. The C/Meo girl is very much about being an individual and curating her lifestyle to her style,” Lauren explained. “We wanted to work on what I think are the two biggest global trends online, which is the art of the individual and self-acceptance, it’s about celebrating the hair that you have.”

Three styles emerged from this theme – a full-blown curly style enhanced on girls with already curly hair, soft waves for the girls with previously straight tresses, and a genius upstyle created through layers of sea salt spray and dry shampoo, a hair hack that, when paired with blow drying, created a dry, effortless texture from what was once an oily texture instead.

“For the girls with naturally curly hair, our focus was on building up a great base quality to the hair, we used Evo’s Day of Grace to balance out the hair shaft,” Lauren said. “Then we used heat with Cloud 9 like a product to seal that in. I think people look at heat as an unnecessary evil, I look at heat differently, I used heat as a product, using products to fill in gaps in the hair health and using heat intelligently to seal that in. That’s how you use heat to build better hair.”

Cloud 9’s Original Wand was used to gently polish these curly haired models, while the brand’s flat irons were utilised to “paint loose waves” for the girls who came in with straight hair. For all the looks, KELA Hair Jewellery acted as a partner. The hair team finished each look with matte metallic beads to catch the eye.

“It’s a dusting of KELA,” Lauren said. “When the girls have their done and they’re in the final line-up, it’s just a dusting of beads in their hair. It’s about taking something effortless and make it expensive and elegant as well. It’s not obvious, it’s more a surprising glint of gold when they turn their head.”

The fashion collection’s enthralling array of mini frills, draped cowl necks, prints, linear beading and silk styles, set on a palette of yellow, cherry, chilli and copper alongside neutrals of chalk, white, grey marle and black, also exuded this sense of self. Backstage and front of house, it’s always one of our favourite mantras.

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