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KEVIN.MURPHY for Melbourne Fashion Week 2017

Spring Summer 18 is officially upon us and while the international Fashion Weeks are now revving up overseas, it was a local event that really opened the all-new fashion season. Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) 2017 set the scene by debuting on literally the very first day of spring, previewing the hair, fashion and beauty trends before any other franchise could get there. KEVIN.MURPHY were on site as official hair partners for the 14th year in the row, there to style, create and forecast the trends for MFW’s biggest show ever.

Kevin Murphy for Premium Runway 2

Set over seven days with too many shows for even Kevin Murphy to count, MFW acted as a week-long cultural experience. The entrance to Melbourne Town Hall offered makeup giveaways, a DJ and snack options under a marquee to protect against the city’s famously unpredictable weather, before guests entered the expansive and impressive runway area to watch the shows.

Martin Grant Gala

Those shows ran the gamut, focusing on emerging designers, menswear, the Martin Grant Gala Dinner, opening and closing shows, David Jones and five different Premium Runway showcases, each with six high-profile designers displaying their new collections. Beyond the runway, pop-up shows took over the entire city, with models appearing everywhere from the steps of Town Hall to the CBD streets, Chinatown and the Docklands. MFW wasn’t an ‘in your seat experience’ – with exhibitions, parties, film screenings, retail events and more, it was a real-world example of this cultural, fashion-savvy city, come alive.

Premium Runway 4

But back to the runway, where fashion took centre stage in its most traditional sense, and Kevin and his team of Session.Stylists (with notable names such as James Nicholson, Nathan Gorman and Caterina Di Biase at the helm) endeavoured to create looks for over a dozen shows and a never-ending parade of models. The question became how to create looks for shows that display multiple designers and fashion perspectives, working to create hair that complemented each unique aesthetic.

Emporium Runway

“We work with the stylist, and all the stylists have their own identity, the clothes have very strong statements,” Kevin shared. “ It’s just trial and error, we do a lot of trials, we do trials at home, at the academy and then a few more with the actual stylists, sometimes it’s a bit of a journey getting from point A to B but it does give us a point of difference.”

Emporium Runway

“I pick the strongest designer and just go for what they’re doing and always ask the stylist if they have an outfit that epitomises the entire show, then I say show me that outfit and I’ll be able to match it in. The stylists are good at blending things in so I just pick the strongest one, or one that’s my friend,” Kevin laughed.

Premium Runway 4

The hero looks ranged from minimalistic to completely creative – think luxury, polished hair for the decadent Martin Grant Gala Dinner, to white and coloured bowl cut wigs for the two student runways, which are prone to prioritising artistry and freedom of expression more than the other more experienced show.

Premium Runway 3

“We’re pushing it a little more, painted bowls, we took all the pastel colours and put primary colours on top of pastel colours,” Kevin said of the student shows. “We’re keeping the edge out so the edge will be natural, we’re making it look like they have undercuts, so we’re giving them a wig wrap and then showing the hair so they look like they have coloured undercuts.”

Premium Runway 5

Beyond that, wearable salon techniques were very much a focus, including one of Kevin’s favourite hacks used for Premium Runway 2 and 3. The team wove the curls by hand and set them with a scrunchy, before releasing the hair into covetable waves that don’t verge on too curly for the average client’s liking.

Hero products included BEDROOM.HAIR and a unique cocktail of ANTI.GRAVITY with LEAVE.IN.REPAIR for the perfect combination of shine and hold. Men were also given this glamorous hair treatment, but with a little roughed up texture at the end. The brand worked with makeup sponsors Mecca to bring the ideal aesthetic to every unique event.

Martin Grant Gala

Throughout the week, KEVIN.MURPHY’s famous use of historical hair references came into play (hello, 80s) with modern twists, while hair as fabric was a major concept. Big name designers on display included Akira, Romance Was Born, Misha, Manning Cartell, Nicola Fenetti, Carla Zampatti, Dion Lee, alice McCALL, Rebecca Vallance, Yeojin Bae, Bianca Spender and dozens of others, and as such, diversity was key. However within that, there was an overarching hair aesthetic that will dictate the trends moving forward.

“The trend is to look like naturally freshly cleansed hair rather than wet looking or grungy, it still looks like very natural freshly cleansed hair, not freshly blow dried, it has a bit of shiny texture in it,” Kevin revealed. “Healthy shiny but not groomed hair is in, it’s not brushed or groomed or glamorous, but the real glamour is in the good condition that dries naturally.”

Premium Runway 3

No matter the weather in Melbourne last week, Melbourne Fashion Week made it clear that Spring Summer is unequivocally here – when it comes to the fashion, the hair and a little bit more sun, we’re right there with them to usher in the season.

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