- The ‘Oscar’ of hairstyling since 1984
- Bold experiments pushing the boundaries of hair colour, texture and styling
- Hairstyle as the Zeitgeist manifesto
The very first international Hairdressing Awards event held in the UK in 1984 and sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional drew in only 100 participants. Nowadays the project initiated by Hairdressers Journal International is the most important and prestigious award for hairstylists globally. The exhibition at Erarta Museum showcases the designs by winners and finalists shortlisted as the Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year at HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards. The contestants not only experiment with hair colour, texture and styling, but radically reinvent the human appearance. All winners of this ‘Oscar’ of hairstyling are true artists treating hair as a canvas to create astonishing artworks inspired by the current agenda.
Modern hairstyle is a manifesto of sorts, a social and aesthetic gesture whose meaning transpires instantly. That is why the art of hairdressing still retains its pristinely sacral nature: this is true magic — enticing, mesmerising, and astonishing. Real masters of this craft not only create a certain style — they conjure a unique fantasy vision born of boundless imagination. The delicate geometric abstractions by Indira Schauwecker and Lucie Monbillard just as brilliantly capture the zeitgeist as the ergonomic design of contemporary gadgets or the austere shapes of brutalist buildings. Global environmental concerns find their expression in the biomorphic creations of Sylvestre Finold inspired by the Japanese manga characters. Chie Sato’s bizarre phantasmagorias allude to the escapist sentiment of the contemporary urbanite — an attempt to flee from the bleak everyday into a hallucinatory fairy tale.
Each of the featured series of works has at its core an elaborate concept masterfully realised by its creator, testifying to the latter’s extraordinary craftsmanship and exquisite ability to absorb and reflect the ambience of the digital era. New hairstyling techniques and improved tools and products pave the way for the wildest designer dreams coming true. The shimmering colour transitions, the rich variety of forms — from biomorphic to fractal — and textures — from chitin to minerals — make one ponder the bewildering diversity of personalities and the limitless opportunities for expressing the whimsical and complex self of any inhabitant of this brave new world.