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The Muse


Blake Lively is revelling in ‘It Muse’ status with Lagerfeld in lust and Loboutin’s with her name on them. Fashion fell for the dangerous femininity of Dita Von Tease, and Lady Ga Ga has proved prolific to the rise of designer; Nicola Formichetti for Mugler after opening his first ready to wear parade and stepping out in few other designs.

Carolyn Armistead for Brad Ngata

The term eventuated from classical mythology when ‘muse’ was specifically used to describe any number of sister goddesses, or in particular the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who presided over various arts. Over the ages the definition has remained true – today’s muse remaining a sort after ticket to unique inspiration, instant status and divine devotion. The perfect example in Kate Moss’ infamous 2011 wedding gown crafted by designer-in-disgrace Jean Paul Gaultier – the designer was dismissed from his title due to racist outbursts just months prior to the globally anticipated wedding. Moss – Earth’s fashion darling with an assortment of gowns at her disposal – stood true to her material man and rocked the beaded work of art complete with fairy-tale-esque red cape to the delight of the fashion community and disapproval of many others.

And so often is the case, what applies to the fashion arena rings true in the world of hair. Brad Ngata recently celebrated 10 years of setting benchmarks in ‘editorial couture’ and a next level experience in the salon chair. And like most fashion greats, Brad has a muse to thank – Australian model Carolyn Armistead.

“To me, a muse is a constant source of inspiration, someone that knows me and how I work and can personify my ideas perfectly. Carolyn has been a client for over 10 years and has been my muse over that time too – I design my concepts with Carolyn in mind, she has a timeless, classic beauty and it’s her poise and grace that always makes my work so beautiful,” says Brad.

Carolyn’s naturally sexy, chic, classy high drama edge resonates effortlessly with the essence of Ngata, and the pair’s dedication to professionalism and charm quickly proved a perfect and irrepressible fit. But despite profound professionalism and catchy charisma, it’s patience at the core of the most influential artist/muse relationships.

“Over the years Carolyn has worn the craziest wigs for me at the earliest call times (and for hours at a time!), but with absolutely no complaints. The things I have done to her are outstanding, she’s been involved in all of my projects, Hair Expo demonstrations, launches, shoots and as my test model for MYER and RAFW,” explains Brad.

“We have evolved as friends and understand each other when it comes to creative pursuits. It’s Carolyn’s total commitment to my visions that make it so easy to work with her and the final result is always exactly how I want it,” says Brad.

Even if the vision entails an outrageous outfit made entirely of hair – Carolyn will carry the most difficult wigs and props, take it in her stride, and make it look effortless – bestowing an instant ‘must have’ vibe. The muse is the ‘must have’.

“We hosted a Hair Expo party two years ago where Carolyn wore a wig that was a Chanel handbag – all made of hair and very difficult to wear. But of course she wore it all night and without the slightest complaint – I think her neck muscles must be ridiculously strong!”

And we thank Carolyn for inspiring one of our leaders in hair design as he strives to continue setting benchmarks – raising the rep of Australian hairdressers for another decade.

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