The Salon at ULTA Styles Student Runway Shows
The Salon at ULTA Artistic Team and stylists were busy last weekend—they had the difficult task of not only deciding on a hair style that would complement more than 200 unique pieces from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) day of fashion shows, they also were charged with creating (and more importantly, maintaining) the hair throughout 15 hours of shows, wardrobe changes and Chicago’s humid, 80-degree weather.
The team’s call time was 5:30 a.m., and the day wasn’t over until after dark—four, back-to-back shows later. Because of the humidity, and the bold designs of the student work, the ULTA stylists, assisted by celebrity and runway stylist, Rodney Cutler, kept the hair simple and chic with a low pony embellished with gold thread.
“Because there were so many different influences here, it was different than a normal fashion show,” Rodney notes. “We wanted to create a look that would have synergy for the whole show despite having many designers with many different inspirations.”
To make sure the style stayed put throughout the day, the team used Redken Iron Shape 11 Finishing Thermal Spray to smooth the hair and Redken Fashion Works 12 Versatile Working Spray to repel humidity and add shine. Rodney’s formula for creating that perfect pony? It starts with root direction—blow-drying the hair away from the face at the beginning of the day. Rodney also notes that securing a ponytail with an elastic bungee rather than a hair band will help the pony stay taut.
The ULTA Artistic Team has partnered with Rodney at New York Fashion Week since 2006, and this is their fourth year styling the SAIC fashion shows together.
“Rodney’s been a good mentor for all of us,” says Rachel Nielson Bettis, one of the Artistic Team members. “We’re learning a lot of techniques—simple things that can make such a big difference on the final look.”
Rodney says he appreciates the team he has come to rely on during important events like Fashion Week, where a dedicated team of stylists is a necessity.
“What’s lovely about this is we’ve got salon hairdressers from ULTA who have built their careers in the salon who have taken on the training and are now becoming experts at Fashion Week,” he says. “It gives them another layer of expertise in the salon.”
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