The brainchild of Emiliano Vitale and his surrounding nearest and dearest peers, mates, family and mentors, Ssh part two took us from 2014’s mystery discovery to a masterful presentation of new techniques and a peek into the psyche of our industry’s pioneers, writes Cameron Pine.
It launched in 2014 promising the art of collaboration and delivered a creatively enthralling combination of captured moments and mind explorative understanding – beyond that of any product and brand collection and deep to the core drivers that ignite us as professionals – in 2015 it stepped it up to become both an educational and inspirational world class event with a bespoke ‘hand-made’ feeling.
Just when you thought you’d seen it all last year, the platform was seemingly reborn, refined and whether you’re one to follow stereotypes or not – if you didn’t see something or feel something new, your presence was questionable, a passion for the industry that seeped from the skin of every single person who set foot on stage.
Likened to poetry in motion, It’s no secret or exclusive culture anymore, the secret is truly out and creator Emiliano Vitale couldn’t be prouder of how the global industry has started to tap into the event’s philosophy – through social media and global coverage. Considering the audience had no idea where the event would be held in 2014 – the 300 plus strong crowd was about as punctual as we’d ever see and The Roundhouse at the University of New South Wales was the ideal ‘round room’ for a round table of the industry’s proudest for the 2015 instalment. We didn’t get told to shut the F*ck up like last year but we were presented with hairdressing expressionism from here and abroad like our industry hasn’t seen in a long time. Salon owners, stylists, our product pioneers and media showed up to see the show but also support, Hair Aid – the charity Emiliano chose to support. Hair Aid is an organisation through which these stylists teach the basics of hairdressing to impoverished students so they can work and earn a living. Every hour at Ssh 2015, felt like a minute in time – a monologue of just how unique hairdressing can really be.
Emiliano thanked everyone for trusting Ssh to deliver something different – before thanking product companies that supported the 2015 show including De Lorenzo, ghd, Wella and Excellent Edges as well as the Australian Hairdressing Council. Benni and Jules Tognini emcee’d the entire program injecting the fun and ferver into the privilege we all had of witnessing such an inventive array of skills. The platform was set for a high contact show from the beginning – we saw é SALON kick of the artistry with a skeletal-like and ornately artistic show, but personality also stole the limelight.
We witnessed both Lisa and Emiliano Vitale cross their legs and talk about what cow’s drink and what’s the most they’ve ever spent at McDonald’s when drunk, whether their orientation is boys or girls (clearly we knew the answer) but you get the point – the backing video was all about breaking down the barriers in order to allow guests to really get to the core of where inspiration and understanding starts. Their item came from the heart with a heady mix of technique mixed with an overall obsession with lace and skeletal framework. This delivery of both whimsy and the wonder-work required by two awarded salonpreneurs set the mood for an afternoon of contrasts.
Before more special guests hit the stage we crossed to a video feed to Robert Lobetta in Los Angeles where he promised on what such an event would deliver, in his subliminally artistic way, “Tonight you will see the print of the blade, the noise of the spoken word, the touch, the look and the very endangerment of doing something new. Tonight we will construct a poetic universe of contemporary hair culture,” Robert said.
“The idea is to give platform to the artist that has contributed to change the landscape of Australian contemporary hair culture. These presentations present the past, the present and the future – a complex set of ideas a new point of view,” Lobetta said.
The UK’s cutting heroes Mazella&Palmer produced classicly polished yet current haircuts – they are known globally for not just showing how to cut hair but for dissecting the why and as such we saw a take of technique as fresh as it comes under the theme of ‘artwear’.
Brad Ngata’s show was as provocative as it comes – male models dancing in heels and hair that used Grace Jones as inspiration and length for days but turned her into Victoria’s Secret – mixed with just a bit of oxford street club pizzaz. What else would you expect from the man who brings the glitter and gregarious glamour to the industry? An incredible colour scale his show had a tribal energy to it inspired by what Brad calls ‘luxury that is now a lot more accessible at airports’.
Caterina Di Biase nailed our global trend of ‘Emerging Asia’ through feathers and insurmountable texture. We loved her ‘panda-buns’ turned explosive hair urchins – offset by heavy jewels inspired by Da Vinci with a little bit of bling. Intricacy mixed with elegance – Caterina elevated the mood of monochrome to a new level.
Jason and India Miller, ‘the lovely couple’ took us back to classics, harping to the ‘Chanel black jacket’ with a more polished aesthetic – creatively in contrast while still complimenting the Ssh philosophy of breaking new ground. In their extensive role as International Creative and Artistic Directors, Jason and India’s consistency of technique is highly regarded.
We finished with X-presion and the trademarked X-presion pixel technique – the cliché ‘wow’ moment finishing off the day with a high-velocity almost futuristic take on how techniques can be found if you’ve got the mindset to allow it. These passionate Spaniards looked like they stepped off the streets of a Spanish street festival but still brought a level of innovation to the industry that has gained traction globally. They also spoke of their passion to reforest the world over through their hair comb initiative.
“Thanks for your support – you showed us what the industry is all about to share talent, and this is what talent is all about,” said Benni Tognini.
Ssh 2016 will be bigger – there’s no doubt about it. From Taiwan to Tasmania – the art of sharing never gets old.